Results Are Not the Point

Results Are Not the Point

Photo courtesy of An Honorable German

I was recently doing some research on Lean Software development, and came across the work of Mary and Tom Poppendieck, including their latest book Leading Lean Software Development. But it was the sub-title of their book that caught my attention: “Results are not the point”.

What?!?

Results are the whole point. If we don’t produce results, and preferably measurable results, then what’s the point?

I was about to dismiss the book and the Poppendiecks altogether when I read the rest of the sentence.

Results are not the point – the point is to develop the people and the systems capable of delivering results.

Oh . . .

They’re correct of course. It reminds me of the disclaimer issued by any money manager: “past results are not indicative of future performance”. The trick in money management, and in any endeavor, is not to produce one time results, but to develop the people and the systems that can produce results year after year, in good markets and bad.

That’s something worth striving for.

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