Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Your Development Process is Part of Your Work Environment

Your development process (regardless of how it is implemented), is also part of your work environment. If as a result of your development process you regularly end up redoing work because problems weren’t discovered until just before the release, or projects get cancelled or shelved, then this is also likely to reduce productivity and job satisfaction. As this process improves, so does your work environment. The smoother it operates, the more pleasant your working environment will be.

There are many problems which you may think of as being unrelated to your development process. For instance, broken builds. Broken builds are simply the result of somebody making an idiotic mistake, right? Perhaps that’s true some of the time, but most of the time it is due to the complexity of integrating many changes made by many people for software that has many interdependencies.

To be sure, a “perfect” process does not guarantee happiness, success, or the absence of problems. You still have to debug complicated problems, port to new platforms, deal with unforeseen circumstances, etc. However, the state of your process impacts the efficiency with which your effort is applied.

If your process is perfect and completely frictionless, then 100% of your effort will be applied to the work that creates value. If it is rife with problems, it may mean that only 50% (or less!) of your effort will be applied to work that creates value. If there are problems with the process, then you are already expending effort which is essentially wasted. You would be better off investing some of that effort in removing the problems permanently instead of losing it to friction on a regular basis.

Quick Summary of The Benefits of Adopting Agile

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