"The Future of the Software Industry: Lessons from Hollywood," Leslie Martinich, IEEE / UT Engineering Management Conference, 2006.
Software projects are, in large part, moving to shorter development cycles and shorter life cycles. There are notable exceptions, but there are thousands of software projects slated for an under-six-month development cycle with perhaps a one or two year life cycle.This paper examines the nature of the changes and considers the implications. Industries with short development cycles and short life cycles, do not need to retain the project team for a long duration. The project team is largely composed of contractors; there are no pensions or training programs. In short cycle industries, professional credentials such as association memberships, relationships and networks are important; agents play an integral role, and apprenticeships or training are undertaken by individuals rather than provided by corporations. Trust and reputation play a far greater role, allowing for confidence in a changing set of roles. The implications for the software industry include significant organizational restructuring, "benefits" such as retirement and health insurance associated with something other than the "employer," a modern version of guilds, availability of training and credentialing, an increase in collaborative innovation associated with fluid project teams, and a significantly increased role for agents. This paper considers some of the lessons and best practices from industries with short development cycles and short life cycles, and examines the implications for the software industry. Obtain a copy from IEEE Xplore or request a complimentary copy.
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