Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Little Change In No Silver Bullet

While I was doing some offering re-read a  classic article that I remembered from my old battered copy of mythical man month called “No Silver Bullet”.

What it drove home to me was how absolutely central the work we do as BAs is to the value that IT delivers to an organisation, regardless of whether it’s always visible. It’s an old article (1987) but still as valid as the day it was written.

What struck me most was how little the fundamental problems of building solutions have really changed. Especially this quote “I believe the hard part of building software to be the specification, design, and testing of this conceptual construct, not the labor of representing it and testing the fidelity of the representation.

What we do is probably the hardest part of the solution development process, and the part that adds the most value. If the PM, Arch, and implementers all do their job fantastically then the best result is that the solution is on budget and on time. If we do our job well then the system that we deliver can make a real impact on people’s day to day lives, how well they do their job, and the effectiveness of their enterprise as a whole.
P.S. Some of the article is a touch dated. Time-Sharing is no longer a big change for example, and OO is not an innovation anymore; However Ada remains sadly under-used. Other bits are very prescient, such as a move towards iterative change driven development (e.g. agile), buy-vs-build, and even a touch of cloud.