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Re: [agile-usability] Real data

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  • Michael James
    ... This is a great case study of the kind of collaboration we want to create on agile teams. For those who haven t read it, the crew made the best of a
    Message 1 of 218 , Feb 1, 2010
      On Feb 1, 2010, at 8:34 AM, Dave Rooney wrote:

      United Flight 232 DC-10

      This is a great case study of the kind of collaboration we want to create on agile teams.  For those who haven't read it, the crew made the best of a disastrous situation by learning how to fly what was left of the airplane by varying the throttle settings on the two remaining engines.  Once they had some mastery over that, they attempted a landing which was not 100% successful but saved a lot of lives.  A similar situation occurred to a DHL cargo plane over Baghdad after it was crippled by an enemy missile.  The crew collaborated to learn how to fly the plane only with differential thrust, and then landed with no loss of life.

      The learning process requires lots of low-stakes failures.  Looking at the Apollo program, we see that encouraging lots of low-stakes failures reduced the risk of high-stakes failures.  If someone asked me to build avionics software today, I'd start with the tightest possible feedback loops, such as test-driven development, and pair programming.  I'd require much more frequent inspect and adapt cycles with the customer, so developers wouldn't suddenly discover they're 9 months behind schedule and work 70 hour weeks to catch up (which leads to sloppy thinking no process can correct).  I'd probably retain Independent Verification and Validation *in addition to* cross functional teams.

      --mj (who is not Michael Feathers, but liked his book)

    • 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
        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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