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2.2 The Problem

Although CBSE is founded upon a solid background of experience within the software industry, as an engineering science it is immature. It is my experience that successful processes need to be shared and evolved into best practices if more organizations are to succeed with CBSE. The first problem is that software development organizations and information services (IS) departments are often in competition with closely guarded proprietary processes. For example, if an IS manager fails to deliver a software system, one option is to outsource the development wholesale. If you assume that the in-house and outsourced staff and development tools are equivalent, then the primary difference is the process used to develop the software system.

While few people have had experience with information services, in some form, the construction industry should be familiar to all readers. You live in a building, made changes to a building, or are involved in construction. I believe a high-rise construction scenario will therefore best describe the opportunities and problems inherent in component-based construction. To distinguish the construction scenario, I list the steps required for construction development within Table 2-1.

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