RE: Who dreams up these things?

Subject: RE: Who dreams up these things?
From: Brent L Jones <bjones -at- VersatileSoftware -dot- com>
To: "'Andrew Plato'" <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 18:13:41 -0600

Andrew Plato wrote on 27 September 1999 19:54:

> Sorry I have been away. Been real busy. I breezed by the
> TECHWR-L list today
> and saw a few posts about various process methods. You know
> how I love those
> posts.
> Who the hell dreams up these processes? The Rational
> MasterBlaster Method and
> the Capability Mastication Monster? Whatever happened to the
> "sit your ass
> down and write a damn user guide you lazy bum" method.


Well, I understand your point. God knows, I've worked in companies with
Byzantine processes and watched in horror as highly paid consultants oozed
in through the door to tell me how to do *my* job according to their handy
dandy "next great thing" patented workflow. I've seen my share of writers
sitting around on their ass putting together "process" while the actual work

However, in the interests of not throwing the baby out with the bath water,
I'd like to suggest a real-world exercise:

Get 70 software developers, some analysts, some project managers, and a
bunch of QA and doc people into a room. Find a handful of clients who need
software solutions. Tell the assembled masses "OK, you lazy *******s, I want
you all to get together and code code code, test test test, and write write
write. Whatever you do, don't implement a process or talk about it or think
about it. **** going through a 'requirements phase' or 'design phase.'
Phases are for the weak. Figure out what the product should be and create
it. Just do it!!!! Everyone do things your own way. The only process we need
is the one that flowcharts you getting your ass on a chair and producing.

Talk about needing consultants to come in and clean up the carnage! I s'pose
this was your ulterior motive in posting something that so bombastically
ignored the difficulties of producing software and its attendant products
with teams of 100 or 200 or more people. Not everyone is a hired gun coming
in solo, not all documentation is produced by one person working w/ a small
team. While your point has validity, like most things it becomes ridiculous
when you insist on applying it to all situations.

Some process is necessary. What form it takes depends on your needs, the
size of your group, and many other factors. Some packaged processes, such as
RUP, have damned good ideas as well as some clinkers. What's wrong with
being aware of what's out there and getting ideas and tools from what's on
offer? I'd call that plain old common sense.

If you're ignorant of history, you're doomed to repeat it, mistakes and all.
If you have no process, either individually or as an organization, you're
ignorant of history. Seems pretty obvious to me.

Brent Jones, Documentation Manager
Versatile Software, Boulder CO
brent -dot- jones -at- versatilesoftware -dot- com

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