Sunday, January 07, 2007

New Year's resolution

Here's one New Year resolution I'm trying to keep: each day, read the corresponding page for that date from "The Daily Drucker". I blogged about this book before, and I continue to be amazed at the insight and wisdom that Drucker manages to pack in almost every sentence he writes. Although Drucker writes about general practices of management and leadership, many of his ideas can be easily applied to software development in general, and testing in particular.

Here are some fragments from January 4th, on "Organizational inertia", which can be applied just as well to any software project ("bitrot" and "goldplating" come to mind):

"All organizations need to know that virtually no program or activity will perform effectively for a long time without modifications and redesign. Eventually every activity becomes obsolete."

"Businessmen are just as sentimental about yesterday as bureaucrats. They are just as likely to respond to the failure of a product or program by doubling the efforts invested in it. But they are, fortunately, unable to indulge freely in their predilections. They stand under an objective discipline, the discipline of the market. They have an objective outside measurement, profitability.And so they are forced to slough off the unsuccessful and unproductive sooner or later."

And how do you measure the efficiency of an organization? By testing, testing, testing:

"All organizations must be capable of change. We need concepts and measurements that give to other kinds of organizations what the market test and profitability yardstick give to business. Those tests and yardsticks will be quite different."

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