Unused features are waste

Studies show that commonly only 20% of the functionality in a software product is used always/often by its users. 80% percent of functions are used rarely to never. This ratio can only occur when there is no validation of how users are using the product. In these cases there is no feedback taken from users or the feedback is not processed.

Unused code is a waste

Maintenance of software is costly and should be taken into account seriously in the product lifecycle. While maintenance is necessary to sustain software products, maintaining the code for unused features is a pure waste. Continuous validation helps in detecting unused features and makes it possible to keep validating these features after changing them.

Be sure to check out the slides from our XP2017 talk here!


There is a lot of focus on software craftsmanship and automation. We can build and deploy software very quickly with current technologies. However, itís the post-deployment stage that worries us. How can we be sure that this new functionality has the impact the business needs?


Every change or new functionality should be related to one or more business goals. By describing these in a natural language Gareth is able to validate the software. Not only the changed parts but also the features that are already in place.


Gareth will run these validations as often as requested and takes the appropriate action. It is the way for a company to make sure the right product is being built and kept that way. This is what you want to communicate to your stakeholders.

Gareth in practice

1. Decide the impact you want to make

Which problem needs to be solved or which value needs to be added? What do your users really need? Make a lot of assumptions about the why, what and how.

2. Business goals and objectives

What are the goals that this software needs to reach? More users? A higher rate of sales? A better conversion? Specify these goals as clearly as possible.

3. Develop, test, review, and again

Just build the best software the world has seen until now. Don't forget to demo all versions to really benefit from feedback.

4. Get your product to production

Ship it as soon and as often as possible. The world is waiting for it!

5. Gareth Continuous validation

Meet Gareth. Gareth can be seriously unpleasant. Trust me, we know. He will certainly not hold back and he will give you the facts when your assumptions don’t hold up.

He will measure over time if business goals are reached and even if they keep being reached. If not, he’ll let you know. Some goals are met right away and others will need tweaking. In any case, Gareth will help you achieve your goals.


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