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Monthly Posts: 2009

Happy winter holidays!

To end this year, we wish everybody a merry Christmas and a happy New Year on behalf of our crew. We're looking forward to a prosperous, rich and wonderful series of 365 days - starting as of Jan 1st 2010!

Management Style in SPI Projects

Recently we had a SPI Conference in Bucharest, Romania.
The 3rd Central and Estern Europe Conference for Software Process Improvement (CEE-SPI) has been quite a succes as participants were more than eager to share ideas. One hot debate has been on the management style in SPI projects.
Democracy versus Autocracy. Different opinions, most of them in favor of democracy.

Let's take a closer look at the definitions.
government in which one person has uncontrolled or unlimited authority over others; the government or power of an absolute monarch.

government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

Autocracy in SPI Projects? Mmmmm, no way. You're going to loose them, for sure.
Democracy? Maybe, but with a flavor of autocracy, we'd say.

When defining processes, democracy is a "must" in a software company, at least. We woudn't know of other type of companies. Everybody in the team, including juniors must have a chance to express an opinion.
A collaborative platform with a forum to debate processes are essential.

Why? We say: software development is still more "art" than "engineering". Software people are quite a special breed of artists. Or, if you prefer,  as Mr Radouane Oudrhiri has told us at the Bucharest SPI Conference:
"Software engineering is a particular engineering discipline where the work is mostly
on models and rarely on real world objects. All deliverables from requirements, to
architecture, to design are just models, including the final product itself (i.e. Software
or an Information System); it is a representation of a real world situation. The quality
of the final product lies in the modelling power and techniques used 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 a solution and be satisfied with processes not so perfect.
Once adopted and approved by the Top management, democracy is out and eveybody should conform. Software Development is about creating products which must conform to the product requirements and this means a lot of discipline.

Of course, there is still room for improvement and any opinion should be welcome.
Periodically processes should be reviewed by the team a.s.o.

Emilia and Andreea, Business Information Systems BIS
Intertek ISO 9001:2008CMMI Level 2ISO  9001/2008 Dun & Bradstreet