Development is not alike manufacturing

After reading the article in the Rational Edge about Lean software delivery I am very much upset. The article regards software development as if it is a manufacturing process. For business applications this may be true, but for the technology world this is absolutely not so.

Being on the bleeding edge of technology means exploring new grounds, new possibilities, new opportunities and inventing new products. Manufacturing is about executing the same actions to create the same products and doing it over and over again. Development is about doing (possibly the same, but more likely) different actions to create a different product and doing it once. I would say that development is more like a social economy.

But what I am most upset about is that IBM/Rational and many other tool vendors are persistently ignoring the technology world and pretend that (software) development is about business processes and business applications. Of course, that’s where the most money is so that’s where tool vendors can make the most money from. But the technology world has very pressing demands for flexibility, development speed and control, and desparately need better tools allow the companies to keep up with the increasing speed of technological evolution.

“Waste” is not “any activity that does not directly contribute to the added value of the end product”. If you eliminate all of those, a development organization in the technology world will propably not survive release 2, let alone be able to develop a product line.


About Frank Schophuizen (fschop)

Hi, my name is Frank Schophuizen and I am working as a consultant in CM, Agile and ALM for TOPIC Embedded Systems. I have over 30 years experience in software development in the technology industry, with the last 15 years mainly in process improvement, deployment and integration of methods and tools in the area of Agile (SAFe, Scrum), CM and ALM. I am strongly interested in the complexities of collaboration and integration in multi-project and multi-site organizations. I have worked with various technology companies such as Philips, ASML, NXP and Vanderlande, and with various tool vendors such as Atlassian (e.g. Jira, Confluence),IBM Rational (e.g. ClearCase, Synergy, Jazz products) as well as open source tools (e.g. SVN, Git, Jenkins, Trac, Eclipse). I am living in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, with my wife. We have 3 adult children. My main hobbies are classical music and photography.
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