Holding Our Feet to the Fire

In recent times, there have been several movements in software development that appear to suggest that we can defer or eliminate many practices that apparently slow down our ability to develop our products.

As we have all seen in this industry, though, as new ideas gain popularity, there is much that is lost in the translation to the masses. These innocuous statements become embraced a little too tightly. There are claims of universality from all corners of the methodology debate, and that ‘barely sufficient methodology’ often becomes ‘insufficient’, with disappointing or disastrous results.

A balance is required. There are some practices that need to be considered for any project, as the cost of deferring or ignoring them becomes extremely costly to the organization, and results in less delivered value. Balancing appropriate weighting of these practices with appropriate management of change becomes the optimal way of driving a project to successful completion.

This presentation describes different types of practices to be considered, approaches to recognize reasonable application along the way, and identifies the practices that we absolutely need to move forward in the lifecycle to ensure that success means creation of the value we actually intended to deliver.

This paper was presented at the 2009 PNSQC in Portland, Oregon by Jim Brosseau.

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