Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Urban Legends and how methodologies ruin enterprises

I was searching for something on my PC and ran across a file I had saved awhile back. The file essentially outlines how enterprises believe that "process" can make up for the lack of talent. In order to prove the point, the contents of the file outlined how to create a methodology for running the 100m.

  • Step 1: write about running really fast.

  • Step 2: Go and draw a plan of the racetrack.

  • Step 3: Go and buy really tight lycra shorts. NOTE: I hope none of my coworkers are reading this blog. The thought of them thinking about how I look in tight lycra shorts..

  • Step 4: run really, really, really fast.

  • Step 5: cross line first!

It's that step 4 that's the tough one. But if you put lots of emphasis on 1,2,3 and 5 it's possible no-one will notice and then you could probably make a lot of money selling the methodology to would be athletes who think there's some "secret" to being a 100m runner over and above being born with the ability to run fast.

Unfortunately, the outcome of methodologies when applied to project management, software development and enterprise architecture is that you end up with extremely well documented TERRIBLE designs. Unless you hire, recognize and retain real talent you are doomed from the start. If you are one of the few enterprises that have figured this out, the architects would have come up with a good designs anyway, but on less paper.

I hope the analyst firms and consultants who push process and methodology won't be too upset about this perspective...

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