ADDD is future!

Within at least 10 years I have not seen a slightest indication that there would be anything wrong with my ADDD approach on the contrary ever time it has been tried everything in the method has been proved to be working. Almost the opposite is true with many people and organizations!

I was fired by Tieto software house, because they did not find me any work. The reasons for this are
1. they don’t believe in object paradigm but processes and orchestrations.
2. they don’t want to work in lean and agile way, but they believe in detailed planning and waterfall.
3. they don’t believe in custom made but packages.
4. they don’t believe in professional teams but resource pools.
5. they don’t believe professional operating team (surgeon team) but distributed offshore development.

These differences drifted us apart. This is not just between me and one big software house. This is a global phenomena. The change here between the parties is a paradigm sift. Paradigm sifts are really big thing to do and to happen! Peter Coad in early 1990’s used as an example the wrist watch industry. When Japanese developed and electrical watch based on oscillating quarts crystal. Swiss had a flourishing watch industry base on old paradigm: mechanical machinery. These people from old paradigm were laughing at Japanese at their “toy” watches until their own industry collapsed totally! The same story repeats over and over again in our resent history: car production in UK or in US and Japan, home electronics in Germany and Japan, camera production in Germany and Japan, national flag carrier airlines and low cost airlines all over the world etc. Here the basic physics apply: the bigger the old paradigm activity is the more energy is required for the new paradigm activity to overthrow the old, but also the bigger the old is the faster the collapse will be after it has started.

The old paradigm will materialized in organizational structures. The bigger the organizations grow the more internal friction it will generate. This means that when a organization is created and its functional basic principles are set it is extremely difficult to change that fundamentally. The first big obstacles are the peoples’ skills. As the persons are selected by their their skills to suite the initial functions it is next to impossible to manage and carry out a process where the skill set is changed for most of the persons in the organization. This would require almost duple personnel if these people are to perform both their daily tasks and at the same time learn completely new skills. The next big question is do these people really learn required new skills at all! In short if this sometimes works it will be a miracle.

The most crucial part of this chain is of course the customer for whom the application is intended to. This current situation continues as long a the ability to secure their vital interests lacks almost totally from the client organizations. Of course this doesn’t change quickly. I have no idea how long this is actually going to take but anyhow it is required prerequisite for any progress! I can easily understand the responsible management when they are facing a situation, where they have a terrifying legacy backlog, ongoing critical production usage of the old system.

My prediction is that the change is going to start from medium size innovative modern companies. After the new far better production methods have been driven into at least some strong professional teams that has really internalize the fundamentals and the work processes thoroughly the last and then the customer that really wants the best and is not content when they only get something. This kind of customer must understand the underline principles at its high management, check the team’s quality and then trust it and fully commit to really work together to reach the results. A few such hits will finally start an avalanche.

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4 Responses

  1. Hi Jukka,

    I am sorry about you getting fired from your previous company. You seem to have a very sold development experience and some great Agile skills. Maybe it’s time to move on your own and work as a contractor instead?

    • Thanks PM Hut for you support.
      I appreciate you support and I will consider my next move.

      -jukka t

  2. An end of an old is always a start for a new – it is also an opportunity.

    Basically, I am with you, but reading the post raised a few thoughts, so let me share them…

    “They don’t believe in custom made but packages.” is true, but also a misconcept. Even when implementing packages, you must know what you want and need. In my mind the first and very important step where I would use ADDD is to document what we are talking about.

    It is very true that people’s skills is perhaps the biggest obstacle for making good processes or IT. I would take that even one step further saying that people’s mindsets prevent us from improving how we work. Obviously from purely IT perspective, every change is a risk, but from business view, if you stop, you are committed to lose the competition. Understanding and modeling what the business really needs, requires an ability to deal with higher levels of abstraction than the actual business is working in. This ability I have found typpically missing.

    Another missing think is the ability to see dependencies in an holistic picture. This I fear is another paradigm shift, and we educate our selves and our children to know more and more about less. Eventually this leads to the state where no one understand how all the pieces work together. I have experience that this is already happening in our organizations.

    Looking also from Tieto’s customer perspective, it seems to me that good working practises are ignored because this approach promotes Tieto’s business. If tey would implement something right the first time, Tieto would lose a big business of supporting the poor use4rs of the poor IT system. They would also lose the money coming from mandatory improvement projects that span over several next years.

    If I had a restaurant, I would not educate my customers how to cook, would I?

    • Hi Jukka

      I simply agree with you on almost ever point you make. Perhaps I should a bit open up my post on some points.

      First about the packages. I really think that all packages are at lest very challenging. Of course the are very good and profitable from vendors point of view, when they get several payers for a work. I think that sometimes a package can bee good choice – for instance I use office packages and I am reasonably happy with them. So if it really fits your needs it is OK. When we start to talk about operation control (or ERP) packages, to suite you it really must be almost a perfect fit. If one tries to assemble business system on several different packages, then I believe that in very rear cases one could get it working with two but never if the amount is three or more. In the old days ( in 1980’s) the companies application portfolio was tailor made but most of them where department base silos and integration over these silos just did not exists. With a portfolio base on several separately developed packages is actually worse that those silos! My conviction is that the far best choice for the IT-system to support company’s business is to create a model based fully integrated tailored business core and to build all the application around this core. This is an aspect to the holistic view that you talk about.

      I agree that teams with poor professional skill will definitely generate in many waves revenue and profit. I don’t however believe that it is really intentional but more accidental. The oddest aspect of this is actually the offshore development. The problem here is that if the individual in charge are not capable to see the possibility of paradigm sift, it is very difficult to blame them for this.

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