Repeatable results over repeatable processes

DAD teams focus on producing repeatable results, such as delivering high-quality software which meets stakeholder needs in a timely and cost effective manner.  DAD teams do not strive to follow repeatable processes.  The observation is that because each DAD team finds themselves in a unique situation, to be most efficient they need to follow a unique process tailored to reflect that situation.  That “unique process” may be comprised of a relatively standard lifecycle and common practices such as architecture envisioning, database regression testing, non-solo development, and many others (granted, those practices may be tailored to reflect the situation too).  The point is that each team in your organization may follow a different process, albeit processes which share similar components defined by a common process framework, while achieving the results required of them. 

This may of course be heresy in some organizations.  The danger with “repeatable processes” is that they grow in size over the years to address all possible situations, and as a result address none of them very well.  Imagine a project team that is large and has regulatory compliance concerns.  This team will tailor its practices accordingly.  Now imagine a small team that doesn’t have to address regulatory concerns.  An organization focused on repeatable processes might have that team follow the same process that the previous team followed, even though some of the practices had been tailored to meet scaling factors that don’t apply.  In other words, the repeatable process included some aspects that were overkill for the second team, thereby impacting their ability to deliver in a timely manner or in a cost efficient manner.  In the vast majority of organizations, when given the choice, stakeholders prefer to spend the money wisely and have the solution delivered in a timely manner, not to have the team follow a consistently “repeatable process.”

2 thoughts on “Repeatable results over repeatable processes

  1. Kurt Solarte

    Good post, been working with a couple of clients around just this topic. Having trouble co-existing with some of the larger standards like the new ISO/IEC 29119

  2. scottwambler

    Thanks. There’s still far too many people out there that believe that repeatable processes do anything more than promote bureaucracy. I always find it interesting that the people pushing for repeatable processes rarely seem to be actively involved with the actual development effort.


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