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I'm a little confused about the sentence structure of the sentences below (this is an excerpt from an IT book):

When Hunter and Westerman say that IT must demonstrate value through “on-time project delivery, on-budget project delivery, and ‘first time right’ application delivery,” are they aware that the Agile community speaks instead of maximizing business value delivered, creating minimal viable products which are later incrementally enhanced, and even of testing in production?

The "speaks instead of" part confused me. My understanding is "Instead of the what Hunter and Westerman said, the Agile community speaks of maximizing business value delivered, creating minimal viable products which are later incrementally enhanced, and even speaks of testing in production.

My friend's understanding is "Instead of maximizing business value delivered, the Agile community speaks of creating minimal viable products which are later incrementally enhanced, and even of testing in production.

Which one is correct?

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You are correct. The author is contrasting two different viewpoints:

A. Hunter and Westerman say that IT must demonstrate value through OTPD, OBPD, and FTRAD

(i.e. developing a perfect product and delivering it on-time, on-budget, and with no changes needed)

B. The Agile community says that maximum business value is delivered by creating minimally-viable products that are improved upon, and even testing those products in production

(i.e. delivering a barebones working product as soon as possible, then making it better piece-by-piece, and possibly even testing those upgrades "in the field" instead of in a separate testing environment)

The author uses a rhetorical question, asking: Are Hunter and Westerman aware of the Agile community's viewpoint?

And in the specific phrase that is confusing to your friend, "the Agile community speaks instead of [viewpoint B]," the instead refers to speaks of rather than referring to maximizing value delivered (which is bound up inside of [viewpoint B], not floating free as a separate clause).

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  • Perfect answer! Thanks a lot.
    – M. Kim
    Apr 8, 2021 at 3:59

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