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Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

The Better Adapted You Are, the Less Adaptable You Tend To Be

The Better Adapted You Are, the Less Adaptable You Tend To Be

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I was skimming The Secrets of Consulting and I came across this nugget: 

“...Many years ago, Sir Ronald Fisher noted that every biological system had to face the problem of present versus future, and that the future was always less certain than the present. To survive, a species had to do well today, but not so well that it didn’t allow for possible change tomorrow. His Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection said that the more adapted an organism was to present conditions, the less adaptable it tended to be to unknown future conditions. We can apply the theorem to individuals, small groups of people, large organizations, organizations of people and machines, and even complex systems of machinery, and can generalize it as follows: The better adapted you are, the less adaptable you tend to be...”
Source: Gerald M. Weinberg, The Secrets of Consulting (New York, Dorset House Publishing, 1985) pp 29-30

Along the same lines, I was scanning Lean Software Engineering and came across this nugget:

"... When it comes to large-scale, creative engineering, the right processes for all the various teams in an organization depends on both people and situation — both of which are constantly changing. You can’t just adopt a particular process and be done with it.  So really the only “bad process” is one that doesn’t provide framework to reflect and permission to adapt..."
Source: Avoid Dogma When Herding Cats

This reminded me of a quote from Hereclitus - "Nothing endures but change."

I'm a fan of adaptability and continuous improvement.  I think adaptability is a key ingredient for effectiveness.  I always reflect on and test how adaptable is my mindset? ... my approach? ... my tools? ... my teams? ... my organization? ... my company? ... etc.

  • That reminds me of Philip Armour's Lemma of Eternal Lateness:  

    "The only processes we can use on a project were defined on previous projects, which were different."

    In a healthy organization, there must be a metaprocess which perpetually drives process change.  In my case, that is the Theory of Constraints.

  • Theory of Contraints - now you're talking!  I hope to see some more distilled nuggets of TOC on LeanSoftwareEngineering.com.  I'm actually using TOC concepts along with Liebig's Law of the Minimum to analyze some of my systems.

  • SubSonic Starter Site is Out! [Via: ] LINQ to XML Videos [Via: mtaulty ] Zen of the Web Programming...

  • My favorite design patterns is Provider design pattern (abstract factory – GoF definition) . I like it

  • Routines help build efficiency and effectiveness. Consistent action over time is the key to real results.

  • Routines help build efficiency and effectiveness. Consistent action over time is the key to real results

  • I read an interesting article on behavioral economics by Harry Quarls, Thomas Pernsteine, and Kasturi

  • I read an interesting article on behavioral economics by Harry Quarls, Thomas Pernsteine, and Kasturi

  • I'm testing another version of the home page on Software Guidance Share . Software Guidance Share is

  • 导读今天发现了这篇非常精彩的,内容超级丰富的文章,实在忍不住,转载于此。

    原文地址:http://blogs.msdn.com/jmeier/archive/2008/10/13/effective...

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