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The Place for Innovation

Most of the time, methodology design is about tradeoffs, but there are some innovations that really change things. When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, he made printing better, faster, cheaper, and more predictable. Encouraging your people to improve their writing and analytical skills, to find and use better tools and more powerful languages, or to have a better sense of personal excellence and craftsmanship can improve "the way we make software around here" without much work.

That’s basic leadership; it’s surprisingly rare and very easy to get wrong. It also requires that the staff have time to think and an environment in which they’re allowed to experiment, which means a loss of control.

So, while it’s possible to improve in all factors of development, you may have to give up some predictability and control now in order to get speed later. Even if you can give up some of those things, however, the next logical question is how much?

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