One sentiment I’m increasingly hearing on social media is how phrases like #NoEstimates and #NoProjects scare executives who require predictability to budget for digital investments.
I think this is telling. How do executives budget for HR or finance or facilities teams? These are typically viewed as core functions within a business – an ongoing cost to keep the lights on, so to speak.
Software and systems development, on the other hand, is usually seen as a capital investment, like building new offices or installing new plant. It’s presumed that at some point these “projects” will be “done”, and the teams who do them aren’t perceived as being core to the running of the business. After your new offices are completed, you don’t keep the builders on for more office building. They are “done”.
But modern software development just isn’t like that. We’re never really done. We’re continually learning and systems are continually evolving as we do. It’s an ongoing process of innovation and adaptation, not a one-off investment. And the teams doing that work are most certainly core to your business, every bit as much as the accountants and the sales people and anyone else keeping the lights on.
I can’t help wondering if what executives really fear is acknowledging that reality and embracing digital as a core part of their business that is never going to go away.