RE: Slow Down Development, NO; Speed up Minds, YES

Subject: RE: Slow Down Development, NO; Speed up Minds, YES
From: "Hightower, Mary" <mary -dot- hightower -at- corp -dot- bellsouth -dot- net>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2000 08:37:25 -0400

The software companies who have worked to become CMM Level 3 or higher have
a shorter development cycle and better software products (meets the better
and quicker idea). If you think that following a defined process slows
development, think again.

Once a process is in place and proven to work (this part takes time), the
development cycle is shorter because design decisions have been made; who
does what, when, why and what is the escalation for problems has been
settled; if a question arises it is quickly answered by the requirements or
standards - this beats having a myriad of meetings and emails trying to
figure out what to do or change, how long it will take, what else it will
effect and so forth.

If there is a flaw in the process, methods or standards, it can be corrected
and changed between releases instead of during. As a writer, dealing with
just the documentation, I recognize this benefit - changes to documents are
made faster if I have standards to work with. Let's discuss standards when
we aren't trying to meet a deadline. I usually give people the glare of
death when I'm 99% done with a document and they want to make a change that
effects every single page.

The problem CMM and its defined processes creates is not adding time to the
development cycle - CMM does not allow room for cowboys, hackers and
creative geniuses. These are the ones that got the software industry up and
going; I'm a hacker at heart, so I understand the conflict and even offense
in some cases. My focus, however, is the customer/user, and meeting their
needs (not wants, BTW, there is a huge difference) comes before my own ego.

The reason consumers/companies buy half-baked software is because it's
better than what they have currently. We shouldn't accept that as the
customer being satisfied with what we give them.

Given the choice between a product that works the first time versus buying
several versions of a software because it is constantly being worked on and
repaired - which would you buy? Factor in the cost of purchasing patches,
upgrades, fixes or a maintenance plan that covers these. I also want to
differentiate between a new release of software that adds new functions and
a new release with bug fixes. The one with new functions is an option...the
one with bug fixes really isn't.


Atlanta, GA

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