March 30, 2006

...Learn TDD with Codemanship

Process Voodoo

In large organisations, process improvement can start to look a little like Voodoo. Analysts sneak into the developer's camp and take samples of hair and other personal items. Then they go back to their Voodoo altar and perform a complex ritual using these items that we're supposed to believe will effect change in the behaviour of the intended victims. I'm always very surprised at how surprised clients are when nothing actually happens and the developers carry on as normal - blissfully unaware that they're supposed to be under some kind of process hex.

The problem is lack of traction. Much of the change programs I've witnessed have relied on a sort of spooky action-at-a-distance that is supposed to make the plan jump off the pages of the BIG PROCESS DOCUMENT into the real world where people actually do stuff and stuff actually happens and that.

In order to move forward, a car's wheels actually have to touch the ground. The wheel pushes down on the ground, and the ground pushes back, making the car move. In many SPI programs, the car has no wheels. We can rev the engine and turn the steering wheel as much as we like, but we're not going anywhere. We could burn a full tank of petrol, but when we get out we'll be right where we started.

This, of course, would be the perfect time to launch some sort of strategic wheel attachment quality steering group. They could meet every Tuesday, by the altar...
Posted 15 years, 4 months ago on March 30, 2006