Lessons Learned: The power of small batches

But even if the amount of time that each process took was exactly the same, the small batch production approach still would be superior, and for even more counterintuitive reasons. For example, imagine that the letters didn’t fit in the envelopes. With the large- batch approach, we wouldn’t find that out until nearly the end. With small batches, we’d know almost immediately.

they will be blindsided by creeping quality issues...

The fact of the matter is that too many people think that projects can be run through the interface of stories and feature lists without paying attention to the quality of the software underneath. And, when you don't pay attention to it, it suffers. This, really, is _Joel's Law of Leaky Abstractions_ applied to process. Business wants to see features, and if that abstraction is their only view of the project, they will be blindsided by creeping quality issues. It's nearly inevitable.

 

far and away architects learn to be architects by through experience ... And the biggest teacher of all is failure.

But the training for architects is much more circumspect. Architects need to know a little bit about a lot of things. Architects need to know about the economics of development. Architects need to know about schedule and milestones. Architects need to know how to envision the final product. Architects need to know about technology and products, about capacity and operating characteristics, about politics and personalities, about the speed with which development can be done, about hardware and software architecture. In short, the architect needs to become familiar with and up to speed on a very wide variety of topics. There are a few formal classes on information systems development architecture, but far and away architects learn to be architects by through experience – on-the-job training. And the biggest teacher of all is failure. Architects learn what is right and wrong by trial and error. Years of experience enable an architect to know good practices from bad practices. At the end of the day, it is experience that is the great teacher of architects. In a way, this is unfortunate, because ANYONE – and I do mean ANYONE – can claim to be an architect. Literally anyone can put ARCHITECT on his/her resume and there is no one to dispute it.