The Value of Effective Practices Process and practices are not the same

October 17, 2017 — Posted by Al Shalloway

Processes must be adapted to where they are being used. A practice is considered effective when it has virtually no cost while providing high returns some to most of the time. Such a practice should always be used. Practices are defined in a domain. A medical practice is a doctor washing her hands before seeing a patient. Virtually no investment but big payoff at times. BTW this practice was originally argued against–check out Ignaz Semmelweis on Wikipedia.

There are many effective practices in software development that are not in common use. These include:

  • Considering how you will test your code before writing it
  • Encapsulating construction
  • Programming by intention

While Agile has changed the face of development for the better, some people use it as a reason to work as they want to. Free will and delegation still requires attending to what works – we cannot ignore the reality of the laws of development. We would not see a doctor that sometimes washed their hands and sometimes didn’t.

We must pause to reflect on what’s truth and what’s our opinion. Taking ownership of our methods means to discover and follow effective practices. Effective practices need to be common practice.

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About the author | Al Shalloway

Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With 45 years of experience, Al is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, product portfolio management, Scrum and agile design. He helps companies transition to Lean and Agile methods enterprise-wide as well teaches courses in these areas.



        

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