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IEEE Computer Volume 15 Number 4 -- THE OPEN CHANNEL

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131493D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 5 page(s) / 24K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Charles McCabe: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

THE OPEN CHANNEL * SEPM: Response to a challenge -- Part I ** Product inventories. ** Support for software condatency. * References

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1982 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

THE OPEN CHANNEL

Charles McCabe

San Francisco Chronicle

"Any clod can have the facts, but having opinions is an art."

The Open Channel is exactly what the name implies: a forum for the free exchange of technical ideas. Try to hold your contributions to one page maximum i' the Hnal magazine format (about 1000 words).

We'll accept anything (short of libel or obscenity) so long as it's submitted by a member of the Computer Society. If it's really bizarre we may require you to get another member to cosponsor your item.

Send everuthinq to Jim Havaes, Applied Sciences, UC Santa Cruz, CA 95064.

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...