In the ’90s we found the perfect software process and the right toolset. Our process was practical and results amazing. Leveraging managers with years of software management expertise together with very talented practical software architects, the Azerity product demonstrated that software can be done right. Azerity competed with the big gorillas (SAP, Siebel, Oracle) and won every time. And it didn’t cost the clients millions to install and millions more to upgrade. High quality, intuitive. Some said it was nearly perfect software.
What did we learn?
- One. How to build a practical architecture. One that delivers what clients want – intuitive, useful, useable. How to avoid the pitfalls which often occur when engineers aim for software elegance but end up with an architecture that is overly complex, bulky, and slow.
- Two. How to develop a software plan that includes all aspects including deployment and upgrades. We think software companies should charge for value-added services but not for avoidable deployment and upgrade costs.
How to use the right processes and tools to make sure the software meets spec, is a high quality release (no bugs, that’s right, none) and completed on-time. The right software development tool to improve the process and software quality was SD Tracker.
- Adopted what worked from the government SEI/CMM and 2167A
- But eliminated unnecessary process steps
- Eschewed organizational silos and waterfall ‘walls’
- Encouraged developer creativity and feedback (communications)
- Fostered accountability and ownership (“buy-in”)
Our management tools were SD Tracker and DOORs
- SD Tracker for bug tracking, enhancement requests/backlog, internal projects and our Call Center
- DOORs for Requirements Management – our Specs
- Amazing productivity, good quality, happy support team, satisfied customers
Others who saw our process said we were “Agile”
- I said “Yes, we’re very agile” (little “a”)
- Later I was trained in “Agile”. I thought “humm” some good things, but some bad. Could be great with more focus on the bigger picture.
Duck Pond Software was created to provide support to software companies on architecture, product, and process. As the 2000s have progressed and more and more teams are moving to Agile, I’m finding that Agile is helping teams move to better software development methodologies and how the ’90s processes can be updated to help support Agile teams.
But I’m also finding the current Agile tools are lacking. That’s why we’ve started software2020.org and are developing Software 2020. A demo will be available soon. It combines the best of the Azerity processes and tools plus Agile. There’s more to come . . .