Against Systems – IV

I’ve been looking for a way to wrap this up, when I stumbled accross and article titled “Process as a Substitute for Competance” that seems to do it for me …

On one recent project, the software development managers insisted on a 5-page requirements definition document, two management reviews of that document, a functional specification with four contributors, a peer review and a management review of that document, a detailed design document, a management review and sign-off of that document, and a test plan before development could begin on the code.

The code in question? Five lines of SQL.

The problem with this model, though, is that anyone who is halfway competent finds himself spending more time on process than on actual, productive development activity. Everything is drawn out over a huge period of time. I think this is the main thing that’s been driving alternative methodologies like Agile and SCRUM — the desire by skilled developers to sweep away all that process that’s “in their way,” and get rid of documentation and meetings.

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