Software development is not random. IT has pattens.

Software development organizations, like people, have patterns.  In other words organizational behavior is not random.  Organizational behavior, like the behavior of a person, has a pattern and therefore can be predicted.   If you study your software development organization I guarantee you will start to see repeating patterns be able to predict patterns and make systematic improvements. The only way to learn about a software development organization is by systematic study.  When studying a software development organization it is important to gather data from samples, make conclusions and then forecast the future.

The entire premise of software metrics is the best way to can improve a software development organization is by systematic study.    Peter Senge points out in his book, The Fifth Discipline organizations must learn if they are going to survive in a global economy.  Software development is a global industry that changes and moves rapidly.

The movie Groundhog Day exemplifies many software development organizations.  The basic premise of the movie is the main character, Bill Murray, never learns.   Too many software development organizations never learn.  They just keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

The best learning comes from systematic study of past projects.  Some organizations, like people, need to learn from their mistakes and their successes.  Unfortunately many software development organizations, again like people, never learn from their mistakes.   These organizations keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Ethnography

The fancy or academic word for what you are about to do is, “Ethnography.” In ethnography a researcher examines the group’s observable and learned patterns of behavior, customs, rituals, and ways of life.

The lengthy study of Gorilla’s by Dian Fossey is an example of an ethnographical study.   If Fossey can successfully study and learn about gorilla’s in the wild,  then I am pretty sure anyone can  study and learn about their software development organization in an office environment.

Read more at Reboot! Rethinking and Restarting Software Development.

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  1. […] Original post:  Software development is not random. IT has pattens. « Quips On … […]


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