Methodologies versus Methods and Tools


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“”Possessing a Project Management technique devoid of a methodology is like attaching a speedometer to an orange crate it measures practically nothing.”” – Bryce’s Law INTRODUCTION The term “”methodology”” is becoming bandied about by just about just about every software program improvement vendor and consultant imaginable. You would be tough pressed to obtain a vendor who, in addition to their usual tool providing, does not guarantee a methodology to resolve all of your improvement difficulties. But like numerous points in this business, the terminology is acquiring sloppy and it is becoming apparent the correct definition of “”methodology”” is becoming bastardized. IN THE Starting The term “”methodology”” became preferred in info systems in the early 1970’s, initially as a response to the query, “”What is it?”” Milt Bryce very first applied the term to systems improvement in 1971, to describe his Info Systems Engineering approach. Bryce referred to “”methodology”” as a approach which ends with the delivery of a item or a entirely defined outcome. Later on, in the course of the structured programming movement, a various interpretation of the word emerged from software program gurus such as Yourdon, Gane/Sarson, Orr, Finklestein, Martin, Warnier/Orr, and so forth. Alternatively of describing the all round approach by which improvement happens, the structured programming folks started to use the term “”methodology”” to describe their procedures for designing software program (e., functional decomposition, information driven style, object oriented style, and so forth.). Consequently, software program improvement tools, which represent automated extensions of these procedures, started to tout their merchandise as “”methodology”” enablers. This division in the use of the term “”methodology”” is a big supply of confusion to the business. Not all “”methodologies”” are designed equally. There are fundamentally two interpretations: as a term referring to the “”approach”” by which operate is performed, and as a term referring to a specific style approach. To definitely recognize “”methodologies”” you have to know the distinction. METHODOLOGIES AS “”Approach MANAGEMENT”” We at MBA define a methodology as, “”a approach which ends with the delivery of a item or a entirely defined outcome.”” Below this point of view, a methodology defines the “”five-W’s”” it defines WHO, is to carry out WHAT operate, WHEN, Exactly where, and WHY. If this sounds like an engineering/manufacturing approach, it is. MBA contends info sources can be developed and created in the very same manner as any other item. Right here, a methodology defines the division of labor and synchronization of operate work. With this method, the improvement work is divided into smaller sized much more manageable pieces just as in an assembly line approach. Building projects represent a further instance (e,g., shipbuilding, workplace/dwelling building, and so forth.), exactly where the operate is cautiously divided into stages with precedent relationships. METHODOLOGY AS A Design and style Approach As opposed to the “”five-W’s”” interpretation by MBA, a methodology supported by the software program style folks defines HOW a specific job is to be performed. For instance, the forte of style procedures such as “”object oriented programming,”” “”structured programming,”” or “”info engineering”” is on HOW to achieve particular activities of operate. From this context, the term “”methodology”” is a misnomer which need to be replaced by the term “”approach,”” a much more apt description. Methods could differ from organization to organization, and there is not usually a single way to carry out a job. For instance, in the automotive business, fenders have usually been a portion of the car or truck, but they have not usually been attached the very same way. Initially, fenders had been bolted to the physique of the car or truck. Years later, an automotive worker welded the fender to the car or truck. These days, welding robotics carry out the job. The job, attaching the fender to the car or truck, hasn’t changed, but the procedures to do it have. Enhanced procedures can imply realizing the very same outcome with savings in time and revenue. The very same is correct in the info systems globe. Whereas there are generic stages of operate for designing and building a technique, there are a multitude of procedures for performing the operate. For instance, there are considerable variations amongst “”structured programming”” and “”object oriented programming,”” but the outcome is fundamentally the very same, the improvement of an executable plan. The distinction is the selected method of implementation (there are pros and cons for each procedures). Whereas “”Computer software Engineering”” represents a phase of operate in a improvement project, “”structured programming”” and “”object oriented programming”” represent procedures that can be employed to carry out the phase. Does this imply there are overlaps or conflicts in the use of the various kinds of “”methodologies””? Not really. But to appreciate the distinction, a single have to recognize the notion of “”Productivity”” (as we have discussed in other “”PRIDE”” Specific Topic Bulletins). PRODUCTIVITY = EFFECTIVENESS X EFFICIENCY Productivity is not merely a matter of how rapid a job can be performed, it is a matter of performing the suitable job at the suitable time. This is what underlies the notion of productivity. Whereas “”efficiency”” concentrates on speed of delivery, “”effectiveness”” is concerned with undertaking the suitable factor at the suitable time the two are not synonymous. For instance, performing a weld working with robotics could be a far much more effective indicates than performing the job manually, but it is useless if you are welding the incorrect factor. There is practically nothing much more unproductive than to construct one thing effectively that need to by no means have been constructed in the very first spot. Zero % effectiveness occasions 1000% efficiency equals zero productivity. A correct methodology addresses the effectiveness side of the equation (Who, What, When, Exactly where, Why), and a approach addresses the efficiency side (How to). Whereas a methodology defines the operate atmosphere, the approach defines how the operate is to be performed. The two are clearly complementary and a single does not eradicate the require for the other. But comparing a single with a further is like comparing apples with oranges, they are merely not the very same. FACTORY Idea Inside an engineering/manufacturing facility you will normally obtain: An Assembly Line exactly where merchandise are created in stages. Production Manage monitoring the assembly line for delays or accelerations in production. Methods for performing operate. Tools delivering mechanical leverage. These components can be identified in any improvement atmosphere, which includes the IT globe. What is fascinating is the connection amongst the components: ASSEMBLY LINE – at the heart of the factory is the Assembly Line approach exactly where merchandise are created in stages by workers with various capabilities for the various stages of operate. In IT terminology, this is the “”methodology.”” PRODUCTION Manage monitors the assembly line working with dials and gauges. Production Manage is not an entity by itself it is completely dependent on the existence of the Assembly Line in order to measure functionality. In IT terminology, this is Project Management. Nevertheless, this brings up an crucial point devoid of a defined methodology, Project Management is an physical exercise in futility. It measures practically nothing. Only if a defined mode of operation exists can dials and gauges be correctly applied. Methods, as pointed out, represent techniques for performing particular tasks (“”how to””). A wide variety of procedures could be employed on the Assembly Line. Clearly, it would be counter-productive to use a approach at the incorrect time on the Assembly Line. This indicates the helpful use of procedures is dependent upon a defined Assembly Line. TOOLS implement procedures. Tools offer mechanical leverage for performing a particular job. In this sense, it is an extension of a approach, and like the approach, tools have to be deployed at the suitable areas along the Assembly Line. This is the explanation why numerous software program engineering tools are failing not due to the fact they are poor tools, but merely due to the fact corporations have not defined their Assembly Lines (methodologies) and have not specified when the procedures and tools are to be employed. What this highlights is that a methodology is the focal point inside a improvement atmosphere. With out a defined methodology, Project Management will be ineffective, and style procedures and software program improvement tools will be misapplied. Productivity will be low. METHODOLOGY CRITERIA Because a methodology is vital to the good results or failure of a improvement atmosphere, it is crucial to be capable to differentiate amongst a methodology, approach and tool. The generic properties of a methodology include things like: DEFINES THE STAGES OF Function (a operate breakdown structure ordinarily consisting of phases, activities and tasks). The stages of operate defines the “”five-W’s”” (Who, What, When, Exactly where, Why). The synchronization of operate is required to define path and is offered by the precedent relationships amongst the a variety of measures in the methodology. Defined duties and responsibilities offers insight for performing the operate and methodology standardization improves communications amongst workers. MEASURABLE – The stages of operate can be evaluated in terms of how extended it requires to carry out them and how a great deal they expense to carry out. Additional, criteria is offered to substantiate completion of deliverables thereby assuring the improvement of a top quality item. Approach AND TOOL INDEPENDENT – a variety of procedures and tools can be deployed as necessary. PROJECT MANAGEMENT INDEPENDENT – can operate with or devoid of a Project Management technique. For instance, an Assembly Line can nonetheless function devoid of Production Manage, but not vice versa. If the methodology you are evaluating does not match this uncomplicated criteria, it is not a methodology and most likely some kind of approach. Sorts OF METHODOLOGIES Of the “”approach management”” methodologies, there are fundamentally 3 kinds: LINEAR “”WATERFALL”” METHODOLOGY (in some cases referred to as “”Life Cycle””) – this is probably the greatest identified of the methodologies. Different interpretations of this method have been published for a number of years, each commercially and public domain. Fundamentally, it a sequential approach exactly where the style of an application moves from the common to the particular for instance: 1. FEASIBILITY STUDY two. Design and style three. PROGRAMMING four. TESTING five. Assessment The issue with this method has been its orientation towards laptop or computer software program and not on total systems. But the greatest pitfall has been its sequential orientation which tends to prohibit parallel improvement. SPIRAL Improvement – this method is primarily based on the premise the improvement approach is evolutionary in nature (which, in truth, it is). The notion is to initially style a plan, then add added phases of operate to frequently revise the plan to boost its functions. From a Project Management point of view, the issue with this method is that the project by no means ends. Item Improvement – as proposed by MBA, this method utilizes components of the other two methodologies, with the added nuance of working with a item orientation as the basis for the improvement approach. Below this method, a technique is viewed as a item. Consequently, it can be developed in the very same manner as any other item. For instance, when a item is becoming developed (such as an automobile), the all round assemblies are very first developed (such as the physique, chassis, engine, and so forth.). Right after this phase, every assembly is developed by teams of engineers who refine the style of every assembly into sub-assemblies and components. All of this happens as parallel phases. MBA advocates the very same method for systems improvement. An initial phase is employed to style the architecture of the technique, followed by succeeding parallel phases to refine the style. This is the greatest method for parallel improvement. INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING In an engineering/manufacturing atmosphere, the duty for defining the operate atmosphere is ordinarily delegated to an “”Industrial Engineer.”” It is the Industrial Engineer’s duty to define the Assembly Line, the kinds of folks and talent sets necessary to carry out the operate, and the deployment of procedures and tools to be employed on the Assembly Lines. Industrial Engineering is a recognized profession in the engineering/manufacturing globe. A comparable position is necessary in the info systems globe. Sadly, most improvement methodologies bought nowadays are evaluated by the incorrect folks. Fairly typically, the evaluation of a methodology is delegated to programmers or technicians who are much more enamored with the most recent software program style approach or tool than in defining a managed improvement atmosphere. This is like Henry Ford permitting the UAW to invent the notion of the Assembly Line. They merely have the incorrect point of view. Somebody who specializes in installing headlights does not necessarily have the experience to create Assembly Lines. Accurate, their input can be beneficial when evaluating a approach or a tool, but not for an all round improvement atmosphere. This is a single location exactly where American enterprises have abdicated comprehensive handle. CONCLUSION There are basically two interpretations for the term “”methodology”” in the IT business. A single interpretation is as a disciplined approach for building info sources, from inception to conclusion. An additional is as a approach for performing a particular job of operate. These are subtle but considerable variations, specifically if a organization is analyzing their improvement atmosphere. As corporations have discovered, it is not merely a matter of getting the most recent software program engineering tool to overcome their productivity difficulties. Research show such tools are failing to have an impact in this location, mostly due to the fact they are becoming misapplied by the customers. People today searching for programming tools to bring order out of chaos are going to be sorely disappointed. This is not their forte. Rather, they represent an effective method for implementing style procedures. The intent of a correct methodology is to define the operate atmosphere, thereby delivering the potential to correctly deploy tools and procedures. To implement a methodology, a improvement organization demands to reorient themselves into an “”Info Factory”” atmosphere, exactly where systems and software program (merchandise) are created in the very same manner as any other engineering/manufacturing facility. Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M. Bryce &amp Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has 30 years of expertise in the field. He is obtainable for education and consulting on an international basis. He can be contacted at: [email protected] Copyright © 2006 MBA. All rights reserved. Write-up Supply: http://EzineArticles.com/specialist/Tim_Bryce/36306 “


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