Is Pride Too Rigid
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"If we built bridges the same way we build systems in this
country, this would be a nation run by ferryboats."
- Bryce's Law
I was recently asked by an "Agile" proponent if I thought our
methodologies were too rigid for today's fast-paced Information Technology
world, that perhaps it was too bureaucratic. First, I pointed out that "PRIDE"
was more of a way of thinking as opposed to anything else. You can remove all of
the documentation associated with the methodologies, including the forms, and
still produce a system for example. This took him aback somewhat as he had
thought of "PRIDE" as an inflexible paper mill.
Next I asked him about his business, which was the
manufacturing of jet engines. I followed this up by asking if there was a
defined sequence for designing and manufacturing the engines. He of course said,
"Yes." I then inquired about the steps involved and the rationale for
their sequence. As it turned out, the steps for design were essentially no
different than the design and development for any product, e.g.; requirements
definition, different levels of abstraction in design, parts specifications,
I then asked what would happen if certain steps were dropped
from the process. He said this would inevitably lead to some costly mistakes.
"So, there is a right way for building a jet engine and a
wrong way?" I asked.
"And what happens if they have to skip over certain steps or
do it in the wrong sequence?"
I said, "Thank you. You've just described the rationale of
our "PRIDE" methodologies."
I explained "PRIDE" used the same concepts and techniques as
used in other engineering and manufacturing disciplines; that we view a system
as a product that can be designed and developed like any other product. This
argument represents the crux of the problem in systems development. Basically,
we are saying systems development is a science, and others say it is an art form
(which I have discussed on more than one occasion). Maybe this is because
systems and software are much less tangible than a product, such as a jet
engine. Nevertheless, it can and should be designed and developed in the same
So, is "PRIDE" too rigid? I guess that depends on your
perspective; if you consider your own methodology to build products (such as jet
engines) as too rigid, then, Yes, I guess it is. But if you believe there is a
right and wrong way for building a product, and grasp the potential dangers of
skipping steps, then, No, "PRIDE" is no different than any other
If you would like to discuss this with me in more depth,
please do not hesitate to send me an
Keep the faith.
About the Author
Tim Bryce is a writer and management consultant with
M. Bryce & Associates
of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the field. He is
available for lecturing, training and consulting on an international basis. He
can be reached at
Comments and questions are welcome.
Copyright © 2008 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-04-19 16:51:35 in Computer Articles