The Largest Wicked Problem in Software is Politics and Management

I previously wrote a post stating that Software is a Wicked Problem, and indeed it is.

There is a bigger Wicked Problem that affects software projects though, that of Politics and Management. 

While there are at least technical solutions to most software problems, and even wicked problems can be cracked eventually, it is a much harder and more time consuming issue to deal with political and managerial problems, and they largely turn out to be wicked problems in of themselves.

And, as with all wicked problems, it is faster to fix the problem than it is to estimate how long it will take to fix - it also happens that with politics and managerial issues, it is often nearly impossible to estimate, or to actually fix the problems, so software developers spend most of their time trying to work around these problems rather than addressing them.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_problem

http://www.poppendieck.com/wicked.htm

 

 

 

 


Posted 08-25-2009 12:40 PM by Jak Charlton
Filed under: ,

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Comments

Colin Jack wrote re: The Largest Wicked Problem in Software is Politics and Management
on 08-25-2009 2:12 PM

Yup.

jdn wrote re: The Largest Wicked Problem in Software is Politics and Management
on 08-25-2009 11:04 PM

Duh.  :)

Seriously, this is a very good point to make.  Sometimes developers think that all you need to do is implement the latest code de jure (IoC, DI, Repository pattern, etc.) and all will go swimmingly.

You should implement all that, but to really get your software development producing the best results, you *have* to tackle the politics.

Lee Carter wrote re: The Largest Wicked Problem in Software is Politics and Management
on 08-31-2009 1:17 PM

I don't remember where I heard it:  "The problem with Agile's 'People trump process' observation is that 'Politics trumps people'" - sad, but in my experience it's often true.

Lee Carter wrote re: The Largest Wicked Problem in Software is Politics and Management
on 08-31-2009 2:29 PM

Just to be clear:  my previous comment is not a knock at Agile (which I practice and admire), it's a knock at how Agile gets subverted by Politics and Management.

Daywyr wrote re: The Largest Wicked Problem in Software is Politics and Management
on 10-10-2009 10:27 PM

Very interesting site. Hope it will always be alive!,

Nawen wrote re: The Largest Wicked Problem in Software is Politics and Management
on 10-12-2009 3:05 AM

Great. Now i can say thank you!,

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