Why Comparing Different Approaches Is Good

June 17, 2016 — Posted by Al Shalloway

Early in school, we all learned to compare and contrast things and ideas. It is what helps us learn and to understand and to perform better. So why do some software consultants seem to think it is wrong to compare and contrast approaches to software development? Why should we expected to be supportive of them all? They are not all equally good or appropriate. This is especially true of Lean and Agile methods. They all have very good things about them. And they all have flaws. No approach is universally applicable.

Comparing and contrasting helps us discover the helpful and the harmful. It lets us know where and when to use them. It helps us understand the mindsets and assumptions behind the various approaches. And understanding the mindsets is critical. In software development, the mindset we have is our belief system about solving a problem. It includes both how we filter information (that is, what we look at) and how we use the information we have. Most people don’t notice their mindset acts a filter. They– never notice that their mindset affects how reality shows up for them. By exposing these beliefs we can start looking to see if they are correct.

It makes possible new possibilities. If we find parts of one mindset are better than another (and vice versa) we can make a new mindset – one that integrates the best of both. This is true learning as we now have a better way of understanding how reality works and we’ve learned a little about how to improve our perspective of it.

Al Shalloway, CEO, Net Objectives

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About the author | Al Shalloway

Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With over 40 years of experience, Alan is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, product portfolio management, SAFe, Scrum and agile design.



        

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