Bob has come up with a fantastic single guiding principle: “Attend to folks’ needs”. I can think of nothing better to focus on, whether those people are inside or outside the organisation. Product development seems to boil down to finding ways of meeting peoples needs more effectively, yet we spend more of our time ignoring them. We are discovering it’s a lot harder than it sounds.
A New Frame
For more than half a century, the software industry has been trying to find methods to increase the likelihood of successful software development. From Flowcharting in the 1960s, through to Agile methods today, the industry has gone through dozens of different approaches. And found them all wanting.
Chart: David F Rico
All of these methods, diverse as they may seem, have at least two things in common:
- They all focus on various technical (aka mechanistic) aspects of software development.
- None of them have made much difference to the general level of successful software development aka “the software crisis”. Cf The bi-annual Standish Group “Chaos” reports (below).
I am convinced that the focus on technical aspects is a core reason – I’d go so far as to say the core reason – for the lack of progress in increasing our industry’s rates of success.
Having been in…
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