Why we don't celebrate software releases and you shouldn't either.

Our partner The Recycling Partnership is celebrating the huge impact, not the release, of the software. Read here why that makes sense.

Results are not what we should celebrate in software projects

Especially in the IT world, we have a habit of celebrating software releases. Consulting companies often celebrate the handover of projects or the handover of reports. But those are all results. Do you see what's lacking here yet? Yes, the impact on the real world. And neither a project handover nor a report changes anything in the real world! So why should these be celebrated at all?‍

What you should celebrate instead

Wait to celebrate until you've made a real impact with the output you've worked on for so long. We know that's hard - because of course we want to celebrate when the hard design/development/consulting work is done.

  • Software teams can be happy when the users of the software have used it to make a difference.
  • Research teams can be pleased when their research has led to changes in practice.
  • Project managers can rejoice in the impact their teams have made.
  • Leaders can enjoy the reach, engagement and attention they receive from real impact.
  • Consulting firms can celebrate when their consulting has made a measurable impact.

This is what we mean.

To show you what we mean by celebrating impact, not output, we can show you what our partner The Recycling Partnership was able to celebrate the other day.
The Recycling Partnership was able to measure the actual amount of materials recycled that didn't end up in landfills and the actual reduction in CO₂ emissions. And we celebrate with them: 1 billion pounds of recycled materials.👏

© The Recycling Partnership via LinkedIn

Do not finish work too early

Why is this important? Software teams might stop working before the users really adopt and use the software.
Research teams might sit back once the report is ready, but not work towards others understanding and using it.
Consultants might be happy to have handed over their work to the client, but miss out on doing the necessary follow-up work to ensure that their work contributes to change.

Don't get too comfortable after you have achieved a result. Instead, make sure that your result is put into practice! Let's work towards real impact instead of arbitrary output targets - that's the only way we can change the world for the better and solve the crises we are facing right now.

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