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Impact - A Blog by INM

Best Practices in Software Development Are Not

April 29, 2008 by Laurent Brigaut

In a rather provocative talk at Project World 2008 last week, IBM's Practice Leader, Scott Ambler, shared a secret: He admits that accepted best practices in software development are no longer best practices.

“Writing a detailed requirement spec up-front is a worst practice, despite being considered a best practice for the longest time,” said Ambler. “When you do this, you are building to specs, as opposed to building to what people actually need.”

Everything in this industry is now pointing to the same direction. As such, developers must:

  • establish a long-term vision but design for the short term
  • release projects in small iterations
  • make project components as independent as possible from each other
  • and, first and foremost, connect every feature to a stakeholder's needs