„Software in 30 days“ – a tiny mathematical error with even a more significant impact

As a certified Professional Scrum Master (PSM) I really enjoy working with my teams by supporting and coaching them, removing impediments etc..
I also read the latest news about Scrum and agile work and sometimes I even read some great books again – just to ensure to keep the pace.

One of these books is „Software in 30 days“ by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland:

Today, when I read it again, I found a tiny mathematical error which has an even more significant impact on how important Scrum is.

On page 12, Jeff and Ken wrote:

However, the Standish report discussed earlier measures a software development yield rate of 14 percent using predictive processes.
Most businesses could not survive such a low yield rate. Imagine if General Motors scrapped every seventh car that it built—that’s the effect
of a 14 percent yield rate.

According to the Standish Group CHAOS Report (also shown in the book) only 14% of all software projects based on waterfall were successful (from 2002 to 2010).
A yield rate is – according to the book and to the general interpretation – „… the degree of success.

Based on this, only every 7th car would successfully reach the market and the correct statement of Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber about General Motors would be much more significant:

However, the Standish report discussed earlier measures a software development yield rate of 14 percent using predictive processes.
Most businesses could not survive such a low yield rate. Imagine if General Motors scrapped 6 out of 7 cars that it built—that’s the effect
of a 14 percent yield rate.

That’s a major difference… or in other words, if 6 out of 7 cars would be trashed – no one was talking about General Motors any longer, right?

This again shows how important the Scrum framework and agile methodologies are and what tremendous impact they have on generating value for a company and its stakeholders.

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