The Agile Challenge – Success criteria

A winning entry must of course include some description that explains that your team used Agile. It also needs to explicitly or implicitly include an argument that shows you were more successful because of Agile, and that Agile was at least one of the key causes of success.

Any flavor of Agile is OK: DSDM, XP, Scrum, Kanban, Lean Software Development, etc.

And… Success, in this contest, is of course not defined by practicing or being Agile.

Success is other things, which we might call the usual business success criteria. It is fine if “the usual” are unusual to some people. That is, for example, if you think of the use and success based on the Happiness Metric (cf. Jeff Sutherland) is key to your situation.

But, we expect some of the following are likely to be key to your application.

  • More Business Value delivered
  • Faster deliveries
  • More business agility
  • Higher Velocity or more productivity
  • Higher customer satisfaction
  • More innovation
  • Higher quality
  • Faster feedback
  • Better response to competitor challenges
  • etc.

We do not expect your metrics to be perfect. In fact, you may not have hard metrics for each and all of the key success criteria you assert, but you have something independent to back up your assertions.

Success must be sustained (or growing) over some extended timeframe. The longer the better, other things equal, one suspects. Three months might be enough or one year might be enough — depends on the other submissions.


To use poker terms.

That you are or used “Agile” is the ante; the given. (This is not a contest for anyone doing projects and just anyone doing new product development. You and your team must be doing Agile in at least some minimal way.)

The real bet is about how successful you are in business terms. You get to define those terms, as best reflects your business situation.

By the way, you can come from any kind of organization — government, nonprofit, for-profit — and any size. The percentage change is more important, probably, than the base from which your changed.

Probably more important than anything will be how many people will be inspired to work for better lives because of this story?


It is at the team level. Success is at the team level in this contest.

The team’s impact might or might not have been a big deal to the “parent.” (One can imagine that the success of one team might not mean that much to the top line or bottom line of IBM, a fairly large firm.)

We use the definition of team from “The Wisdom of Teams” book — 10 people or fewer. (The team might have been supported by other part-timers.)



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