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Re: Real data

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  • davenicolette
    ... You ve mentioned domain and context several times in this thread and in other discussions, as well. I think it bears repeating. Some people tend to think
    Message 1 of 218 , Feb 1, 2010
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      --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Glen B. Alleman" <glen.alleman@...> wrote:
      > Since all process and the products they produce are stochastic in nature.
      > Failure is mandatory.
      > How to "manage" that failure mode issue. We do it with formal processes,
      > designated roles and responsibility, and massive oversight. Other domains
      > and context have different approaches.
      > Loss of Mission is common in many domains. From failed ERP systems to Pad
      > Abort of the manned spacecraft. Loss of Crew is different.
      > Glen

      You've mentioned domain and context several times in this thread and in other discussions, as well. I think it bears repeating. Some people tend to think exclusively of the domain they are working in, and forget that other domains have different requirements. Maybe that's what leads them to look for a one-size-fits all solution. The trouble is, one size doesn't fit all.

      When the cost of failure is human life, you've got to manage risk differently than when the cost of failure is low. In many business application software development contexts, the cost of failure is that someone has to re-write a chunk of code and deploy it to a server or two. Except in cases when there are financial penalties for system downtime or delayed response (as in some financial applications), the worst case scenario amounts to a bit of temporary inconvenience. That's a far cry from a manned spacecraft exploding on the launch pad.

      Sure, people weep and wail about the inconvenience, often out of proportion to the true damage, but that's only because they have the luxury of living in a world where things don't explode. They can well afford a lightweight process that doesn't burden them with a lot of oversight and triple-checking specifications. If something doesn't work quite right, they can have a "do-over." No biggie.

      Most agile practitioners use these methods for building and supporting business application software. Only a few have worked in a domain that has truly high costs of failure. I think that may be why people tend to talk past each other in discussions of this sort.

    • George Dinwiddie
      Hi, Jon, ... I ve never found creating software to be a one and only time no matter how small the program. There s a lot of similarity between writing one
      Message 218 of 218 , Feb 12, 2010
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        Hi, Jon,

        Jon Kern wrote:
        > ok, maybe it is silly to debate the term...
        > George it's a free country, use method anytime you please :-)
        > I personally will only use "method" when I want to describe some way
        > that I achieve something over and over. Often in an abstract sense,
        > often in a step-wise way. Often because the "something" is a desirous
        > end goal, and one that I (or someone else) wants more than one time.
        > I would not describe the /ad hoc/ "how" of the one and only time I will
        > ever do something as a "method" if it is not.

        I've never found creating software to be a "one and only time" no matter
        how small the program. There's a lot of similarity between writing one
        line of code and writing the next.

        And I've observed, that people generally continue to do something
        somewhat in the fashion they've done it before. Thoughtful people will
        consider the result their achieving, and modify their actions to try to
        improve some aspect.

        I've never seen anyone continue to approach the work as if they'd never
        done anything like it before, choosing some completely different way of
        working. And I've never seen anyone carefully follow the recipe in a
        process manual. At best, a process manual gives the worker some ideas.

        It's the process people actually /do/ that has an effect. If you and
        Scott and Glen want to reserve the word "method" for officially blessed
        procedures, go right ahead. It won't change a thing.

        - George

        * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
        Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
        Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
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