Over the Christmas break I read the trousers of reality, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The most interesting part for me was the chapter on deep structure. Inspired by this I produced my interpretation (a series of sketches) which in some way I see as almost mapping out the whole book (see below).

Fundamentally we need principles and feedback!

This is starting to ring bells with my current journey into lean thinking and the roots of lean and agile. I’m beginning to think they all come back to these two items, at the micro or macro scale they all involve getting a feedback loop going (or developing an existing one), guided by some simple practices/guidelines. So, if I could think of a snazzy name for it I would start a new software development methodology(?) which consists of just these elements.

Get everybody nodding at the notion that feedback is the fundamental principle on which to operate, define or pick some simple practices/guidelines, choose appropriate information to analyze and use to modify the input, keep testing and evolving the system. It seems to me the only difficult part is seeding, some activities are easier than others, unit testing has this cycle and books to hand out, whereas getting say a monolithic waterfall development process changed when your say an outsourced part is harder – But I think achievable so long as you get them to agree feedback is good and start showing them some useful big visible charts?

This new methodology, is just really a principle, a foundation, on which lean and agile are built, so its a meta-principle or a deep principle? The bit I like is its really obvious (or it is to me now I see it) and cuts through all the endless material written on these subjects, allowing people to develop systems suitable for their needs. Essentially its all about continuous improvement, get grounded principles and iterate/evolve, apply this principle to anything (software or otherwise).

As mentioned in the trousers of reality, its all recursive and fractal in nature, I’m starting to sound a bit like an insane hippy these days, maybe I am!