If you measure programmers by points then they will optimize for points

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.

The worst thing with Agile/Scrum is that you can hit all your 2 week targets and yet a year later have software that no one wants to use, so to the extent that Agile is suppose to reduce risk, it fails completely.

But why does it fail? This is good:

No matter how you define story points, the real issue with them doesn’t go away. The main purpose of points is making planning more reliable, and providing a temporal perspective for business. They never fail to take on a life of their own, however, with teams working to gather points instead of delivering good software. I don’t understand why points are special compared to the oft-mocked cases of bug hunts or lines of code written. If devs are measured on points, they will optimize on points. Has the code base improved? Did it become more modular, simpler, habitable (see the section Habitability and Piecemeal Growth in this book (pdf) by Richard P. Gabriel)? None of these questions is of relevance. The points have to be gathered. The spice has to flow. That’s what counts.

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