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The power of process [software processes]

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1 Author(s)
S. McConnell ; Construx Software Builders, stevemcc@construx.com

Some people in the software development community think “process” is a four letter word. They think software processes are rigid, restrictive, and inefficient. They hold that the best way to run a project is to hire the best people you can, give them all the resources they ask for, and turn them loose to do what they do best. Sure, they say, there will be some amount of unproductive work is (also known as “thrashing”). After all, developers will make mistakes. But they will also be able to quickly and efficiently correct these mistakes at a cost that is less overall than the cost of processes. This point of view has intuitive appeal. At the beginning of a project, a focus on process certainly does take time away from productive work. If that trend were to continue throughout the project, it wouldn't make sense to spend much time on process. Software industry experience, however, has found that for projects that don't pay attention to establishing effective processes early are forced to slap them together late, when slapping them together takes more time and does less good. The article points out the problems caused by inattention to process, explains what happens when a project thrashes, and discusses the use of process versus creativity

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 5 )