#noprojects - A Culture of Continuous Value

| by Evan Leybourn Follow 2 Followers , Shane Hastie Follow 28 Followers , reviewed by Charles Humble Follow 982 Followers on Jul 20, 2018

About the Authors

Shane Hastie leads the Culture and Methods editorial team for where he hosts the weekly InfoQ Culture Podcast. He is the Director of Agile Learning Programs for ICAgile. He has oversight in the strategic direction and expansion of ICAgile’s learning programs, including maintaining and extending ICAgile’s learning objectives, providing thought leadership, collaborating with industry experts, and supporting the larger ICAgile community. Over the last 30+; years Shane has been a practitioner and leader of developers, testers, trainers, project managers and business analysts, helping teams to deliver results that align with overall business objectives. He has worked with large and small organisations, from individual teams to large transformations all around the world. He draws on over 30 years of practical experience across all levels of Information Technology and software intensive product development. Shane was a director of the Agile Alliance from 2011 to 2016 and is the founding Chair of Agile Alliance New Zealand. 

"I firmly believe that humanistic way of working and the agile mindset are desperately needed in organisations all around the globe today.  Taking agile values and principles beyond software is important and making sure they are properly embedded is absolutely crucial for success – we’re in an industry that touches every aspect of people’s lives and massively influences society as a whole and I want to be a part of making sure that industry is both ethical and sustainable."

Evan Leybourn is the Founder and CEO of the Business Agility Institute; an international membership body to advocate, champion and support the next-generation of organisations. Companies that are agile, innovative and dynamic - perfectly designed to thrive in today’s unpredictable markets. His experience while holding senior leadership and board positions in both private industry and government has driven his work in business agility and he regularly speaks on these topics at local and international industry conferences. As well as leading the Business Agility Institute, Evan is also the author of Directing the Agile Organisation (published by ITGP in 2013) and writes regular articles on business agility and related topics at

"The world is changing more rapidly than ever before and organisations of every size are struggling to remain relevant in the eyes of their customers. It is only high-performing, adaptable and agile organisations that will leverage, lead and thrive in this ambiguous and unpredictable market. In this book, we want to show you a new way of thinking about structuring your work - away from a temporary endeavour to a continuous flow of value."

Today success comes from building products people love, creating loyal customers and serving the broader stakeholder community.  In this thoughtful exploration on the future of work, the authors explore the past, present and future of the “project”. And why, in today’s fast changing & hyper-competitive world, running a temporary endeavour is the wrong approach to building sustainable products and how #noprojects is fundamentally changing the way companies work.

The metrics by which we have historically defined success are no longer applicable and we need to re-examine the way value is delivered in the new economy.  This book starts from the premise that our goal is to create value, for the customer, for the organisation and for society as a whole and shows how to empower and optimise our teams to achieve this.

The authors draw on modern management approaches to provide proven techniques and tools for producing, and sustaining, creative products that go beyond “meeting requirements”. By creating teams who are accountable for business outcomes, engineering for customer delight, and creating value for all stakeholders - profitability, customer satisfaction and employee engagement are all increased.

This book is far more than just a catalogue of practices and tools which you can apply in your product development. It contains inspirational stories from individuals, teams and organisations who have switched to this new way of thinking and working. It exposes the risks on the pathway and how others have overcome these obstacles.

Praise for the book

If you don’t see the value of the project construct in your organization, you’re not alone. Shane and Evan have written a book explaining how you might create flow in your organization, to see and deliver the most valuable work faster. - Johanna Rothman, Consultant and Author

At my company, Menlo Innovations, we have chosen a mission to ‘end human suffering in the world as it relates to technology’ and much of this suffering comes at the hands of very poorly run projects. Shane Hastie and Evan Leybourn, in their book #noprojects, give us a deep tour as to how we got here and a values-based roadmap on how to escape in order to bring joy back to technology, technology teams and the business that depend on them. There is a wealth of wisdom, expertise and experience shared that will give you a path to success that may be very different than the one you are now. Get ready for different and enjoy the ride! - Richard Sheridan, CEO, Chief Storyteller, Menlo Innovations and Author, Joy, Inc. - How We Built a Workplace People Love

#noprojects is not about getting rid of projects and project managers, but about being able to continuously deliverer value to customers. It takes a culture where people work towards outcomes, a culture that truly embraces change and fosters continuous improvement as Evan and Shane explain in their book #noprojects - a culture of continuous value. The practices that support such a culture exist, let this book inspire you to apply them effectively to deliver more value to your customers. - Ben Linders

#noprojects is a great read for people serious about putting products over projects. The authors blend new and novel ideas with tried and tested ideas from active, real world communities. As a reader, you will be respectfully challenged to throw out dogmatic, status quo ideas and replace them with tools and skills that foster learning from tangible and meaningful measurements. I’ve already recommended this book to a wide audience that includes program managers, big bosses, and product managers, and now I am doing the same to you.- David Hussman

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Table of Contents:

  • Introduction 
  • The origin of projects 
  • Where we went wrong 
  • Outcomes over outputs 
  • Value over busy 
  • Adaptive portfolios 
  • Delivering work 
  • Continuous culture 
  • Value-delivery teams 
  • Funding #noprojects 
  • #noprojects and business agility 
  • Chapter References