Saturday, December 06, 2008

Software As A Manufacturing Activity

Another book that I read recently was Goldratt's The Goal. It's gotten me thinking about software development within the context of manufacturing. If a software development cycle is constrained by one of the intermediate steps, it either will starve the downstream processes or let software of inferior quality out in front of the paying customers. Neither is a desirable outcome.

So, you have two problems from the world of moving around atoms that may be applicable to the world of moving around bits. First, the problem of coordination and scheduling that supply chain management gurus have thought about. Second, the problem of throughput and productivity that constraint based manufacturing theory has gone a long way towards optimizing.

How much can be applied directly, and how much just doesn't apply because turning out software doesn't suffer from the same scarcities as turning out physical products?

I guess that's why I'm trying to think and write about it.

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