Software process summary

I believe, I could show how software processes can be avoided in the company. And it will not only not compromize, but indeed improve its efficiency, manageability, and structure. To achieve it,

  • Create a common vocabulary of artifacts and activities instead of a common process
  • Ensure presence and motivation of competent professionals
  • Learn how and where to trust them

Just to be sure, I’ll provide a couple of examples what is process and what’s not.

Most companies have common conventions. These are documents decribing for example how to name a private class member, where to put backup files on the production server, where requirement documents and offers can be found if you know the internal codename for the project, etc.

Such common conventions are not processes, if

  • most of the employees agree on them and find them useful in the real practice
  • their usage is not enforced in any way, besides, may be, a question of a cautious collegue “You’re not using the conventions here? Cool, you have something special in your project?”

In fact, such common conventions build part of the common vocabulary, which is important in absence of processes.

Many companies have developed forms to be filled to transfer the information. The most common examples include a form to reimburse expenses during a business trip, a project review document, and a form you have to fill in the IT ticket system to have them to do just anything for you. These forms ARE typical processes.

Instead of communicating information according to situation (i.e. also verbally, or in form of an internal blog post), individuals are forced to fit it into a predefined, sometimes outdated and never fully adequate form. While it sometimes reduces the amount of work for the recipient of the information, it often also reduces the overall effectiveness of the company. Not only because the time of form recipients is often less expensive than the time of form fillers, but also because valuable verbal and non-verbal information gets lost. Such processes should be avoided, unless legally required for financial etc. purposes.

Part 4 of series on Software Process

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