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Ya Gotta Use This!

It’s interesting when people come off a previous project and are assigned to a new, in-progress, software development project. Often, they demand that their new project team adopt a process/procedure/technique/design/architecture (PPTDA) that they themself used on their previous project.

This can be either good or bad. It can be good if (and it’s a big IF)  the alternative PPTDA they are promoting is actually better than the analogous PPTDA currently being employed by the new project team and the cost to integrate the proposed PPTDA into the project environment is less than the additional benefit it brings to the table. It can be really good if the PPTDA has been proven to “work” well and the new project hasn’t progressed past the point where an analogous PPTDA has been decided upon and weaved into the fabric of the project.

On the other hand, a newly proposed PPTDA can be bad in these cases:

  • The new project team already has an equivalent PPTDA in place and there’s no “objective” proof that the championed PPTDA really does work better.
  • The new project team already has an equivalent PPTDA in place and there’s “objective” proof that the championed PPTDA really does work better, but the cost of social disruption to integrate the PPTDA into the project isn’t worth the benefit.
  • The new project team doesn’t have an equivalent PPTDA in place yet and the championed PPTDA has “somehow” been proven to be better than other alternatives, but adopting it would require changes to other well-working PPTDAs that the team is using.

Because there’s a bit of subjectivity in the above list and “rank can be pulled” by a so-called superior in order to jam an unworthy PPTDA into a smoothly running project and muck up the works, be wary of kings bearing gifts.

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