Monthly Posts: 2009
The 3rdCentral and Estern Europe Conference for Software ProcessImprovement (CEE-SPI) has been quite a succes asparticipants were more than eager to share ideas. One hotdebate has been on the management style in SPIprojects.
Democracy versus Autocracy. Different opinions, most of them infavor of democracy.
Let’s take a closer look at the definitions.
government in which one person has uncontrolled or unlimitedauthority over others; the government or power of an absolutemonarch.
government by the people; a form of government in which thesupreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly bythem or by their elected agents under a free electoralsystem.
Autocracy in SPI Projects? Mmmmm, no way. You’re going to loosethem, for sure.
Democracy? Maybe, but with a flavor of autocracy, we’d say.
When defining processes, democracy is a “must” in a softwarecompany, at least. We woudn’t know of other type of companies.Everybody in the team, including juniors must have a chance toexpress an opinion.
A collaborative platform with a forum to debate processes areessential.
Why? We say: software development is still more “art”than “engineering”. Software people are quite a special breed ofartists. Or, if you prefer, as Mr Radouane Oudrhiri has toldus at the Bucharest SPI Conference:
“Software engineering is a particular engineering discipline wherethe work is mostly
on models and rarely on real world objects. All deliverables fromrequirements, to
architecture, to design are just models, including the finalproduct itself (i.e. Software
or an Information System); it is a representation of a real worldsituation. The quality
of the final product lies in the modelling power and techniquesused to express the problem.”
(Read more here on this subject)
So, ok for democracy.
However, if at one point, debates are too hot or there’s a”never ending song of love” playing,the Company’s Process Group must draw the line, choose asolution and be satisfied with processes not so perfect.
Once adopted and approved by the Top management, democracy is outand eveybody should conform. Software Development is about creatingproducts which must conform to the product requirements andthis means a lot of discipline.
Of course, there is still room for improvement and anyopinion should be welcome.
Periodically processes should be reviewed by the team a.s.o.
Emilia and Andreea, Business Information Systems BIS