Abandoned Projects Make Me Sad – Time for Agile!


Sit down, stay awhile. Let me tell you a story. 

Time and time again I sit down with clients, and I get to be in an Agile counselor position. Listening to a sob story over drinks and gruel of how it’s “Time to go Agile” after years of failing. Sometimes I take notes (if I have my handy pad), sometimes I write down stuff on whatever I can get my hand on.

Here you have a client… after spending 2 years and millions of dollars… the CIO called it quits… and made an executive decision right before new years… to cancel the project.


How do you count the cost? I might just make you sad. I’m sad… but not for long. It’s time for Agile. It’s go time.

2 Replies to “Abandoned Projects Make Me Sad – Time for Agile!”

  1. I’ve been through similar. The worst was an old friend and colleague who called me in to hear the details of his project-gone-sideways after a year in development and personally-invested fortune in a mobile app that he’d yet to see working.

    Compounding the tragedy, he had family members invest in the project as well.

    By the time I was called to consult, he had less than a few months to put together a working product for some big-name customers. It wasn’t going to happen.

    I made the recommendation to shut-down the offshore (yes, they had an offshore shop – sight unseen) operations, re-patriate development locally and get involved.

    Despite my guidance and offer to help, they felt there wasn’t budget to do this. Eventually, the product died on the vine as the window of opportunity to get to market before competing offerings shut.

    As sad as that tale ism, what I find *more* disheartening, especially here in Canada, is a complete indifference toward agile practices by most businesses and public institutions. The entrenchment of the ironic silver bullet of single-pass/phased delivery is deep – and even though we have a faltering economy and OECD productivity rankings just above the Czech Republic, “we” think everything is fine.

    It’s a Shakespearean tragedy.

    1. Wow, thanks for the story. “Agile” aside, these stories are nuts. Collective wisdom would help here:
      – Maybe it’s important to work closely together
      – Maybe it’s important to build quickly and get feedback quickly
      – Maybe it’s important to _____

      etc etc. Common sense isn’t common. Companies, people, need help with their projects. “Agile” ideas can help.

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