Methodologies

by Volker Weber

I had a discussion this week about an organization that tries to solve every new problem with a process. (No, not IBM). It was about people hiding their incompetence behind new ways of filling out paper. This so reminded me of Katie's take on the Rational Unified Process (RUP):

Step 1: Write about running really fast.
Step 2: Go and draw a plan of the racetrack.
Step 3: Go and buy really tight lycra shorts.
Step 4: Run really, really, really fast.
Step 5: Cross line first.

Step 4 is the really hard part that is hidden in meaningless methodology. Lesson to learn: You cannot overcome incompetence with methodologies. You can only hide them really well.

Unfortunately, the outcome of RUP is that you end up with extremely well documented TERRIBLE designs. Unless you have a good OO designer to start with. In which case they'd have come up with a good design anyway, but on less paper.

Amen.

Comments

If you have no or little talent, a method will not help you. If you have talent, a good method can make you even better. if you have great talent, you will invent methods. it does not take many good people to write great solutions. i even think less people (even in large projects) is more.

RUP has some interesting aspects though i feel it is very bureaucratic in many ways. it has a lot of overhead.

Cem Basman, 2005-03-05

To the point!

Organizations try to use methodologies to lessen the impact of missing competence, but this approach rarely works. Most often the results are terrible. What about developing those competences first, then solving the problems?

This approach makes the needed resources visible and may appear to be more expensive, which is why the "process" or "planning" approach is so popular. You don't need to understand the problem in question the make plans.

Juha Haataja, 2005-03-08

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