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10 Evolutionary Project Management Principles – Evo Principle 1 (#2 in the series 10 Evolutionary Project Management (Evo) Principles)
By Tom Gilb

Evo Principle 1: Real Results of Value to Real Stakeholders Will Be Delivered Early and Frequently


Real results means something that the stakeholders can use in their daily immediate work. For example: the product is faster; easier to use; more reliable; has more useful function.

Real stakeholders are real people, both colleagues and customers, who have some interest in and use from what we are producing. By giving real results to real stakeholders we can find out in a realistic way whether they get what they want and need, whether it works as intended, and whether there are some new needs perceived as a result of the handover experience.

Early means ‘next week’ for many cases. It means in the first 2% of expenditure of time and money for the larger project.

Frequently means weekly or in 2% of total project time increments. It can even mean daily as in daily builds of a system being made available to in house stakeholders.


“In parallel with the development activities of the team, selected users or customers of the system are working with and providing feedback on the release from the previous cycle. This feedback is used to adjust the plan for the following cycles.”

Todd Cotton, HP Journal August 1996.

Tom Gilb is a freelance consultant, teacher and author serving clients mainly in Europe and the US. He has books in print: “Competitive Engineering”, “Principles of Software Engineering Management” and “Software Inspection”. He specializes in software engineering, systems engineering, and technical management. He resides in Norway and London. His most recent papers, book manuscripts and slides are available on

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