Most software development teams rarely lack access to defined techniques or processes, but information can
quickly build to become unwieldy, providing teams with too much information, and often with far too much “friction”
and “noise” – with people using different terminology for similar ideas, or indeed the same terminology for different
ideas, causing unnecessary debate and confusion and distracting everyone from the primary goal of adding value
to the software product.
Often the most valuable nuggets of professional practice become buried and lost inside other larger descriptions
of apparently highly prescriptive processes, which considered as a whole are heavy-weight, impractical for many
purposes, and become unpopular and discredited over time.
While it is critical that local empowerment of teams are able to adopt the practices that will work best for their team,
at the organisational level there are many drivers and benefits that require commonality of language and approach.
These include effective communication with stakeholders, transparency of project status and progress for the purpose
of governance, as well as project continuity and sustained improvement — despite change-overs in suppliers,
contractors and employees over time.
Many organisations struggle with recognizing and implementing cohesive delivery cultures and approaches across
many types of projects that have their own internal challenges and structures.
Effective work practices can be lost to faddism. Dr. Ivar Jacobson, chairman of Ivar Jacobson International and a
father of modern business engineering, is often quoted as saying that software development is as trendy as the
“Instead of a true engineering discipline for software, what we see today is a tendency to adopt
new ideas based on popular fashion rather than appropriateness; a lack of a sound, widely accepted
theoretical basis; a huge number of methods, whose differences are little understood; a
lack of credible experimental evaluation and validation; and a split between industry practice and
academic research.” Real Software Engineering by Ivar Jacobson and Ed Seidewitz
There must be a better way
What if we had some common ground — a common terminology that describes the things that are fundamentally
true and critically important for all software development? A way to share and combine good ideas and practices
from many sources within this shared common framework? An improved way would drive a consistent approach and
delivery across an organisation and enable flexibility of use across teams.
The above content was taken from Part 2 of Ivar Jacobson International's Creating Sustainable Change epub series. To read the full piece, register for the series here.