As this is my first blog let me start by giving a quick introduction. I am based in the UK just outside London. I am a Londoner but I don’t speak like Michael Caine, oddly I get mistaken for Australian when I am in the US. I have two small boys. The 3 year old can already say, computer, agile and Service Oriented, the 1 year old just says computer and agile but is reluctant to have a go at Service Oriented.
This year marks a bit of a milestone for me, its 20 years since I did my first TQM training. Back then I was into real-time system, instrumentation and control. All the standards I followed started with MIL-STD (military). The process we followed was so heavy it had its own gravity. Finally the powers that be said we have to do something about it and turned to TQM. That marked my love affair with all thinks methodology and process. 20 years on the one thing I can say for sure is never insult someone’s mum or their favourite method – there is a lot of passion when it comes to methodologies.
This passion and the search for the ultimate method has lead to schisms, the “its an art” camp, “we are engineers” brigade and my personal favourite “IT is clueless” from the business. Joking apart it does look like we are clueless with IT’s mix of formal, informal and just plane hacking, coupled with the very public method wars. Passion is good but it does have side effects, one being it sometimes blinds us to common sense. Large amounts of energy have been wasted with camp A prompting their pet method and finding deficiency in camp B method or process. I will be the first to say I have been guilty to of this, if you ever meet me face to face ask me about MASCOT and you see what I mean.
The truth is there is no perfect method but the last 30 years of “my method is better than you method” infighting had to happen – its IT growing pains. Agile has passed it stroppy teenage “what can you teach me” phase in relation to CMMI and is now “OK I do see some value in what you say – dad”. For its part the CMMI community has stopped being “father knows best – listen to me son” to “OK you may have something there”
I can see real progress and convergence – commonsense at last. I am not saying its time to have the ticker tape parade. There is no perfect method but that does not mean we should stop looking for perfection so the debate will continue – as it should. But we are closer now than at any other time of fitting the method jigsaw pieces together.
Not a moment to soon. Because now more than ever we need a commonsense “Just Enough Process” approach to development and process improvement in the current economic crisis.