IEEE Computer Volume 15 Number 4 -- THE OPEN CHANNEL
Original Publication Date: 1982-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Software Patent Institute
Charles McCabe: AUTHOR [+3]
THE OPEN CHANNEL
THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.
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THE OPEN CHANNEL
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SEPM: Response to a challenge -- Part I
In the August, 1980, issue of Computer, Richard Thayer, Arthur Pyster, and Roger Wood authored "The Challenge of Sotware Engineering Project Management." In it, they assert that there is a lack of proven, documented tools for effective soLware engineering management, and they challenged their readers to refute any one of the 20 issues they presented as a soDware engineering project management, or SEPM, problem. Furthermore, they declared that anyone "solving" these problems had to do so without the aid of "unusual" resources. Messrs. Thayer, Pyster, and Wood, the gauntlet has been taken up. [Part 11 of this response will appear in next month's "Open Channel" and will include both a listing of the 20 hypothesized SEPM problems of Thayer et al. and a concluding pointby-point reply from Gelles.]
Stated simply. the root cause of sohware engineering management failures rests in the overcomplicated thinking process natural to abstract logicians, scientists, and sohware "types" -- a process that is reinforced by theoretical, scientific educational goals.
Since software engineers, as a group, are highly intelligent, creative people who are motivated by challenge, they generally have a distaste for redundant processes. This attitude results in an avoidance of inventoried modules as a means of enhancing productive project completion. Since motivation increases in situations permitting creative construction, the importance of economiesof-scale to the whole of productivity are often sacrificed as project participants view their role as an opportunity to express individuality. They take possession of a product, and are proud of their attempts to improve upon existing implementations. However, the trade-off (in terms of efficient system development) between improvements which inevitably introduce a divergence of style and fulfillment of user goals such as early delivery of proven, maintainable systems so...