Success is less than just features

DancingMango says (correctly) that Success is more than just features. He uses the “DeLone and McLean model for Information Systems (IS) success [pdf].” to show that the benefits come from (what I would call) impacts, not the features themselves.

DeLone and McLean model for IS success.  Slightly modified.

What is not obvious from this explanation is that more often that not feature bloat or gold-plating code are major hygiene factors, i.e. they need to be removed and simplified in order to deliver system, information and service quality. If you like, you can think of a parallel input to quality: simplicity instead of features.

This is initially a hard idea to sell to the business: deliver more benefits by delivering less features. The customer often thinks it’s her job to increase the number of features. After all, agile is about increasing throughput, right? We all need to remember user-valued features working in production that is the important measure. Non-user-valued features or features that are hard to find detract from the quality of the system, information and service and dissatisfy the user.

Removing hygiene factors that dissatisfy is often a quicker way to benefits than increasing features to try to satisfy.

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