Chicago Software Process Improvement Network
(C-SPIN) Meeting
Thursday, May 2, 2002

A Participative Approach to Methodology Development and Dissemination
Conrad Weisert
Information Disciplines, Inc.

Once an organization makes a commitment to disciplined software development, it faces choices in how to choose its best practices and how to communicate those choices to its professional staff. Two common approaches that rarely if ever work well are:

Instead experience in large and small organizations confirms the effectiveness of a high degree of participation by the professional staff in all phases of methodology administration. The participative approach works especially well in a decentralized organization that allows each area a great deal of autonomy in customizing its methods. It is particularly attractive during periods of severe budget constraints. No organization is too small or too poor to afford the cost of developing, disseminating, and supporting enlightened software development practices. Conrad will describe the organizational and documentation infrastructures for methodology administration, and will examine the costs and the human factors.

Conrad Weisert is a Chicago-based independent consultant specializing in software development methodologies and large-scale project management. Before establishing his own consulting firm, Information Disciplines, Inc. ( he held technical management positions at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and at Union Carbide Corporation. He holds an MS degree from DePaul University in Artificial Intelligence, and currently teaches part-time at IIT.