Friday, August 14, 2009

Teenage Wasteland and Virtual Spring Cleaning

There's an interesting read on InfoQ (well, there's always something worthwhile there, it seems) that adapts Shigeo Shingo's Toyota Production System (TPS) Seven Wastes to Software Development. It's a summary of the ongoing work at Agile Software Development and certainly not a new topic. I've bitched these seven wastes here at least once before. It might be my biggest professional/corporate pet peeve outside of misaligned organizational boundaries. And it's much 'easier' (relatively speaking) to solve.

One of the wastes listed is having 'completed' software that is not deployed into production. This is an all-too-common oxymoron in corporate technology shops the world over. As the saying goes, 'It ain't complete until it hits the street'. Or something to that effect.

Remember, deployment is the goal, not 'code complete' or 'QA passed'.

But the genesis of this is that damn misaligned organizational boundary problem sticking its nose into things again: when people are so stove-piped and specialized into their little corner of the product lifecycle, why be surprised when they think things are 'done'?

Most of the companies with this organizational malady were likely not always afflicted in this way. It's the result of growth (sometimes, very rapid growth). Fixing it is not easy but nothing worthwhile ever is. I think I've reached my quota of cliches for the day.

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