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  • Real Software Engineering & The 5 Why’s

    Posted on November 16th, 2010 Nelson Bodnarchuk No comments

    Here’s an interesting video that was sent my way recently discussing why software engineering, as it’s being taught in Universities, doesn’t work. By not working I mean, it doesn’t produce high quality software for a low cost and sometimes it doesn’t produce working software at all. Check out the video here:

    I’m not one to use only one methodology, I like leveraging techniques that work and prefer whatever gets the best ROI for the problem identified, call it Agile, call it Spiral, call it Water Fall…call it Karma.

    That said, I’m a big fan of Lean tools as they work in both the manufacturing and software industries where I’ve seen their benefits when implemented properly. If you’re looking for a place to start implementing these types of tools for little to no cost impact on your budget try holding a “5 whys” session with your client to fully understand what the root cause of their problem is. For those of you living in a more reactive environment you may have heard of Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA), this is essentially the 5 whys after something has seriously gone wrong. Try asking the 5 whys at the front end of the development process to fully define what the problem is before moving forward with developing a solution and I’m confident that you’ll see a positive step change in your development process. By clearly defining the problem and what it means to be complete your developers will have the understanding and a clearly defined goal to work towards. There is obviously much more that you can do to improve things within your development process, however people tend to adjust to small changes more efficiently compared to one big change. As Doc Brown would say “You’ve got to think four dimensionally”.

    For more information on the 5 Whys and an example: Check out any of the following links: