Collaborative Information Systems Development
COLLABORATIVE Systems is the name we chose for our consulting practice because it describes what we believe in and do best.
Collaborative Information Systems Development (CISD) is a process, utilized by an organization, to build computer systems. Most successful application development organizations apply some or most of the principles used in this process.
CISD works best in an organization where there is a Shared Aim, an Open and trusting environment, and Shared leadership.
|People, Process, Technology, and Accountability||
People are our most valuable asset is often said, but usually not operationalized. The most critical components of CISD are the methods used to get everybody's brains engaged and focused on the development of the new system.
Process is simply a guide or roadmap to help everyone know what
needs to be done to complete the task in a reasonable way. There are
many good processes or methodologies.
Some energy must be invested in selecting, understanding, and continually improving the process for it to work well. Without continual improvement the process will become an administrative burden instead of a facilitation tool.
Technology is the driving force behind CISD. The aim is to build the best possible computer systems as quickly as possible, at the least cost and risk. Billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of smart people are being used today in this effort. Selecting and learning the right software development tools and underlying architecture are necessary for effective systems development. The chosen tools must remain stable for the development to be predictable.
Accountability for the success of a new system is possible when everyone agrees on end-user and development goals and measures. Project planning and scheduling tools can be very helpful when they are truly used by everyone. Someone must take the leadership to develop the project schedule, collect the data and report the results. Everyone on the JAD team is responsible for the accuracy of the schedule and the end-user measures.
|Joint Applications Development (JAD)||
The JAD team consists of from 4-12 stakeholders or stakeholder representatives that take full responsibility for the success of the new system. Collectively the team must have the authority and wisdom to succeed. It must empower the end-users of the new system, who are part of the team, to get what they need to serve their customers well..
The end-users can most easily provide systems requirements if they already
have a continual improvement process in place. Process Mastering;
the web site or
the book is a first step to continual improvement and
one of the best ways that I know to document the current system.
There are generally as many process master teams as there are major processes in the organization..
The JAD team is made up of end-users and developers of the system being built. It has a leader, a facilitator, a scheduler, a systems architect, and owners of the process being automated. The team will meet frequently and intensely enough to build and sustain trust and provide leadership to the development. The team will call together small subgroups, which may include other end-users, developers, or outside experts, to collect and refine detailed requirements and to workout design details for the system. The full team will understand the ramifications of the decisions being made and come to consensus on the tough trade off decisions. The full team will monitor the schedule, budget, and the level of satisfaction being achieved.
You may view or print a deployment flow chart of CISD here.
Assess the Quality of your Software Development Process, there is also an article and a printable assessment form, Assessing and Improving Software Quality.
Wilson, Ray W. and Paul Harsin. Process Mastering: How to Establish and Document the Best Known Way to Do a Job. , Productivity Inc, 1998
Gerald M. Weinberg
is a man I have never met; yet he has had great influence
on my consulting practice and me. The first book I read by him was
The Psychology of Computer Programming. He also wrote
and made an audiotape of
Secrets of Consulting : A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice
Successfully. These books and possibly his workshops may be helpful
to you. I try to follow the principles laid out in the following 5 books
by this author.
Handbook of Walkthroughs, Inspections, and Technical Reviews : Evaluating Programs, Projects, and Products 1990
Quality Software Management : Systems Thinking, (Vol 1) 1991
Quality Software Management : First-Order Measurement (Vol 2) 1993
Quality Software Management : Congruent Action (Congruent Action, Vol 3) 1994
Quality Software Management : Anticipating Change (Vol 4) 1997
These books are not cheap nor are they easy to read and apply. I may have been attracted to them because of the author's devotion to family systems, which I believe is very helpful when working with teams and organizations. There is more on this topic under Team Building.
DeMarco, Tom and Timothy Lister
Peopleware : Productive Projects and Teams, 2nd Ed. (February 1, 1999)
Dorset House; ISBN: 0932633439 Ever wonder why everybody at Microsoft gets
their own office, with walls and a door that shuts? It's in there.
Peopleware asserts that most software development projects fail because
of failures within the team running them. This strikingly clear, direct book
is written for software development-team leaders and managers, but it's filled
with enough commonsense wisdom to appeal to anyone working in technology.
Peopleware is a short read that delivers more than many books on the
subject twice its size.
Controlling Software Projects : Management, Measurement and Estimation. (September 1986) Yourdon; ISBN: 0131717111. This is an excellent textbook about software projects estimation. The only problem with the book is the lack of more examples to learn the techniques discussed.
Structured Analysis and System Specification. (November 1985) Prentice Hall; ISBN: 0138543801. This classic book of tools and methods for the analyst brings order and precisions to the specification process as it provides guidance and development of a structured specification. Covers functional decomposition; data dictionary; process specification; system modeling; structured analysis for a future system.
Brooks, Frederick P., Jr. The Mythical Man-Month : Essays on Software Engineering (July 1995) Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201835959
Aquayo, Rafael. Dr. Deming The American Who Taught The Japanese About Quality . New York: Carol Publishing, 1990.
Dr. W. Edwards Deming and his teachings have greatly influenced my thinking.
Out of the Crisis Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Center for Advanced Engineering Study, 1982.by Dr. Deming explains with abundant illustrations what he believes managers have been doing wrong, informs them what they must do, and shows them Deming's way Out of the Crisis.
The New Economics : For Industry, Government, Education Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Center for Advanced Engineering Study, 1993. This is the last book written by Dr. Deming before his death at the age of 93. In this book Dr. Deming introduces his System of Profound Knowledge, which consists of: an understanding of Systems, a theory of Knowledge, an understanding of Variation and Psychology
The mission of the Indy Quality, Productivity and Involvement Council is to enhance the continuous improvement process of the participating entities by providing a forum to nurture the philosophy of Dr. W. Edward Deming. IQPIC provides a resource network for practitioners to create a vision through sharing, cooperating, and studying innovative management techniques for the improvement of quality and customer satisfaction throughout the community.
The DEN is a volunteer-based, non-commercial electronic communications resource available internationally to individuals and organizations interested in the past, present, and future of Dr. W. Edwards Deming's System of Profound Knowledge and related philosophies. Deming Electronic Network WEB SITE
Kayser, Thomas A. Mining Group Gold: How to Cash in on the Collaborative Brain Power of a Group . El Segundo, California: Serif Publishing, 1990.
Information Technology resources, JAD, RAD etc: I will list some here, but others are on my IT (Information Technology) Quality page.
Wood, Jane and Denise Silver. Joint Application Design : How to Design Quality Systems in 40% Less Time , John Wiley & Sons, 1989
Eason, Ken. Information Technology and Organisation Change . London. Taylor & Francis, 1988. (A must book for Information Systems executives.)
McConnell, Steve. Rapid Development; Taming Wild Software Schedules . Microsoft Press, 1996
Jones, Capers. Software Quality: Analysis & Guidelines for Success , International Thomson Publishing, 1997
Maguire, Steve. Debugging the Development Process : Practical Strategies for Staying Focused, Hitting Ship Dates, and Building Solid Teams , Microsoft Press, 1994
Braithwaite, Timothy. Information Service Excellence Through Tqm : Building Partnerships for Business Process Reengineering and Continuous Improvement, ASQ Press, 1994
Kan, Stephen H. Metrics and Models in Software Quality Engineering , Addison-Wesley Pub Co, 1995
Watts S. Humphrey,
Managing the Software Process , Addison-Wesley
Pub Co 1989
A Practical "how-to" and "what questions to ask". If you wish to improve the Quality of your software development, this book is worth reading, studying, and questioning. It really does not tell you how or why to improve, but suggests processes and measures that you need to consider if you are already committed to better software.
Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change. (October 15, 1999)
Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201616416. eXtreme Programming eXplained provides
an intriguing high-level overview of the author's Extreme Programming (XP)
software development methodology. Written for IS managers, project leaders,
or programmers, this guide provides a glimpse at the principles behind XP
and its potential advantages for small- to mid-size software development
Planning Extreme Programming. (October 13, 2000) Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201710919. The hallmarks of Extreme Programming--constant integration and automated testing, frequent small releases that incorporate continual customer feedback, and a teamwork approach--make it an exceptionally flexible and effective approach to software development.
Davenport, Thomas H. etal 1993
Innovation : Reengineering Work through Information Technology
1998 Working Knowledge: How Organizations manage what they know, examines how knowledge can be nurtured in organizations. Building trust throughout a company is the key to creating a knowledge-oriented corporate culture, a positive environment in which employees are encouraged to make decisions that are efficient, productive, and innovative.
2000, Mission Critical: Realizing the Promise of Enterprise Systems
Gates, Bill and Collins Hemingway.
Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy. (May
15, 2000) Warner Books; ISBN: 0446675962. Argues that the capabilities
of computers, software, and networks are only beginning to be harnessed,
and that companies must start building a modern, digital nervous system now
in order to compete quickly and intuitively in the new millennium. Explains
how to turn hardware and software into an evolving network of information.
This book is well written, with good examples from Microsoft and other companies.
I am fascinated by his just slipping in the asides that this want work
unless you empower you people ... unless you do the quality stuff... etc.
The Road Ahead (CD ROM included) (November 1996) Penguin USA (Paper); ISBN: 0140260404. Love him or loth him, Mr. Microsoft is certainly an influential voice in the modern business world and The Road Ahead is definitely an important addition to any business library. Gates' description of the beginnings of the information age, while somewhat over-emphasizing his own contributions and downplaying those of his competitors, is nonetheless as clear and enlightening as any in print today. Likewise, his view of the digital future--from hardware to software and education to entertainment--should be read and studied by all who use technology in their business today or plan to use it on the road ahead.
Glass, Robert L. (Osten Oskarsson. An ISO 9000 Approach to Building Quality Software, 1996. This book provides a complete and realistic approach to applying ISO 9000 standards to software and the management of software development. It teams an ISO 9000/Quality expert (Oskarsson) with a traditional software development guru (Glass) to bridge the gap between what the standard requires and what building quality software is really about. ) Building Quality Software, 1997. This book gets at the essence of software quality based on the premise that quality is at heart a technical problem, and that management's job is to create a facilitating environment. Computing Calamities: Lessons Learned From Products, Projects, and Companies that Failed, 1998. Many great advances in technology have resulted from risky experimentation, but it's critical to remember and study the spectacular failures that also resulted from some of those risks. In Computing Calamities, Robert L. Glass has collected war stories from around the industry. Laugh at these mistakes, and learn from them. Software Creativity, 1995; Measuring Software Design Quality, 1990; Software Conflict : Essays on the Art and Science of Software Engineering, 1991; The Limits of Software: People, Projects, and Perspectives. (June 25, 1999) Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201433230. Britcher is retired from IBM but teaches classes on software and management at Johns Hopkins. Describing the FAA's Advanced Automation System as one of the largest and most spectacular computing failures in history, he uses it as an example of what really goes on, and goes wrong, inside in the deep bowels of software development.
Goldratt, Eliyahu M. and Jeff Cox.
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement. 2nd Rev edition (1992) North
River Press Publishing Corporation; ISBN: 0884270610. If you are a
manager who likes more to read a fiction than a textbook, Goldratt is exactly
for you. "The Goal" gives a thorough picture about principles of Theory of
Constraints (TOC) in a straightforward format that is easy to read even to
a BBA junior student.
Necessary But Not Sufficient. (October 2000) North River Press Publishing Corporation; ISBN: 0884271706. A brilliantly written novel that does, for an entire supply chain, what The Goal did for production. It explains clearly the need for a holistic approach that embraces the I.T. function. The book has an excellent example of how addressing a constraint in one area (production) unavoidably leads to disaster in the distribution channel.
Taylor, David A., Ph.D.
Object Technology: A Manager's Guide. 2nd edition (September 1997)
Addison-Wesley Pub Co; ISBN: 0201309947. This book provides a very
straightforward guide to understanding object-oriented technology. Anyone
can grasp the concepts of OO in a matter of hours. The book was easy to read
and didn't provide any technical details. This would be ideal for somebody
who wants to understand the basics of object-oriented technology enough to
explain it to someone else.
Business Engineering With Object Technology. (January 1995) John Wiley & Sons; ISBN: 0471045217. A practical resource for business managers and software designers demonstrates how object technology can be effectively utilized to design and re-engineer business systems with practical techniques for any system.
Wang , Charles B. Technovision II : Every Executive's Guide to Understanding and Mastering Technology and the Internet. (August 1997) McGraw-Hill Book Company; ISBN: 0070681694. This edition of the best-selling technology guide for executives-from one of the preeminent experts in the field-now expanded to cover all the new and exciting developments on the Internet. The book allows the reader to get inside the mind of industry leader Charles Wang, who shares his vision, a vision that sparked the creation of a $4-billion software development firm, Computer Associates International, Inc. Filled with new case studies, tips, and insights, this edition explores how the World Wide Web is transforming commerce and business. The result is a resource that prepares decision-makers to not only understand the cyber-revolution, but profit from it.
I recently read Charles Wang's earlier edition of Technovision. This is the first big, open, public, explanation of why businesses are not as successful in using IT as they could be. The triangulation between IBM, the CEO, and the CIO has existed for all of the 40+ years that I have been in the computer field. IBM's influence in this has been greatly reduced, but the triangle and its bad effects hang on. I have ordered and am looking forward to reading the new edition when it arrives. I have put a helpful questionnaire from his book here for your use.
There are other resources on my TQM page