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RE: [scrumdevelopment] Rage against the waterfall

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  • Steven Gordon
    I think I am agreeing. Previously, I have explained this before in the following way: - The Western (academic) approach is to break things down into
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 9, 2004
      I think I am agreeing. Previously, I have explained this before in the following way:

      - The "Western" (academic) approach is to break things down into seemingly independent pieces until each piece is atomic, and then try to understand each piece. This approach often makes the naive assumption that when the pieces work the same way put back together as they did in isolation. This naturally leads to the atomic phases and roles we see in waterfall. The analogy to the Tayloristic approach to manufacturing processes is intuitive, so we easily convince ourselves that specialized roles and independent, sequential phases will lead to efficiency and minimization of errors.

      - The "Eastern" (holistic) approach understands that things are greater than just the sum of their parts. To my mind this explains how companies like Toyota, for example, could see how to move manufacturing beyond Taylorism.

      As long as schools only teach deconstructionistic analysis, and our training in software development teaches analysis, design, coding, testing, etc. as distinct specialized skills, it will always be difficult to convince more that a handful of people that software development is most effectively understood from a holistic point of view rather than a phasist point of view. The only way to come to this realization seems to be to experience the failures of phasism, and analyze those failures systematically instead of rsorting to saying we just did not design well enough at the beginning. It is far easier for a software developer in the trenches to eventually realize the systemic problem of phases than for most managers, who are too far above the details to see the pattern.

      For the exact same reasons, the lean approach would not be making as much headway into western manufacturing if not for the success of companies like Toyota. It is only the string of successful results by agile methods that is leading to the slow decline of waterfall, not our rational arguments of why agility should work better than waterfall.

      Steven Gordon

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Marco Abis [mailto:abis@...]
      Sent: Wed 6/9/2004 5:25 AM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Rage against the waterfall


      >But why is this concept so hard to accept?
      >I think because this is "the" natural way of thinking.

      abstraction is a typical characteristic of rational knowledge because we cannot ponder every aspects to compare and classify the huge variety of shapes, structures and phenomenons which surround us. We have to choose only some of them, the ones we believe are most meaningful. That’s way we build an intellectual map of reality. A map where things are reduced to their boundaries.

      Rational knowledge then is a system of abstract concepts and symbols characterized by a linear and sequential structure typical of our way of thinking and speaking.

      Marco Abis
      http://agilemovement.it - Italian Agile Movement
      http://www.agilityspi.com - Agility SPI :: Software Process Improvement

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