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A Sad Indictment of the Software Development Industry

by Kelly Waters, 24 August 2007 | Agile Project Management

a sad indictment of the software development industryWhen I first saw this (quite a few years ago now), it made me laugh. In fact I thought it was hilarious. A really humourous insight into one of the key issues in software development.

When I saw it again recently, to be honest it still made me laugh. But – when I thought about it a little more deeply – it also made me sad. Sad that the industry I take such a pride in being a part of, has this reputation. This reputation for delivering the wrong product! And that’s just not funny :-(

The key principles of agile software development help enormously with so many of the common risks of project failure. Of course they don’t alleviate all risks. Not at all. Because software development is complex. People are complex. And the combination of software and people is a lethal cocktail of unpredictability. But if there’s one risk; one risk that agile software development really does guard against; it’s this one.

The key principles of agile software development really do provide some insurance against this risk. The key principles of active user involvement, empowered teams, incremental development, frequent delivery of product, testing throughout, close collaboration, etc.

And if *your* product – like so many of mine, now and over the years – is a product that generates revenue – a product that is sold – then this, and this alone, can make the difference between success and failure.

Kelly.

See also:
Why most IT projects fail. And how agile principles help
10 Key Principles of agile software development
10 Key Principles – PowerPoint presentation
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2 Responses to “A Sad Indictment of the Software Development Industry”

  1. Bud Cookson says:

    Don’t feel too bad. This cartoon and variants has been around for a long, long time. I don’t know the original source or inspiration but I can guarantee you that it was not software specific. It comes from any environment where there are multiple people, roles, and organizations involved in the supply of a customer’s needs. It’s just that software is one of the most difficult things to provide in a consistent and applicable manner.

  2. D. H says:

    I first saw it 25 years ago. I still have a much-degraded n-th degree photocopy. Yes, very sad that this still rings true in so many places.

    The other good one that I still reference is: “You guys start coding, I’ll go find out what they want!”

    :-) Deb

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