“I call it the ‘digitization fallacy’—the idea that software will save us from bad processes.”
As i mentioned in a previous post, i had a good discussion, with my colleague Ville, one day at the office. We discussed about the use of tools in agile processes.
I am very wary of using digital tools, especially if the problem field is not yet known enough (which is the case with most new processes).
“…syndevs can have the same amplifying effect on other kinds of tools…”
-Anathem, Neal Stephenson
Problem with digital tools is that they tend to magnify your efforts very well. In both, good and evil. So if you make a choice that is not suitable for your problem, the wrongness of the choice is magnified. No matter how good tools you have if the process isn’t fitting the current situation in the organization it wont work well. And quite often the choice of tools is done already before the problem has been found.
Most often the tools are used just because it seems natural for people working with computers to use digital tools. As most of the work seems to be done on computer anyhow, it seems natural to handle the process on computer as well.
Engineers are very prone to think that it is nearly “free of charge” to setup and modify these tools. This has ties to the fact that for some reason, engineers seem to be very bad in valuating and valuing their time. It is easy to think that time is free. This is of course a bit contradicting with reality as most IT companies exist and make their profits by selling just that, time of their engineers. Kind of CPU seconds from engineer brain.
Another reason I’ve heard is the need for discipline in processes. It seems plausible that a tool could help us become more disciplined and follow the process, reminding us not to take shortcuts.
To be continued in next post…