American software development – guidance or prescriptions needed?

Greetings from Japan and the ISO software engineering standards meetings this week! Writing ISO standards can be fun as well as challenging (among other things) and as I give advice to our project editors, I often wonder what will best serve our  American software development needs – guidance or prescriptions?

What do you think?  What will keep us ahead of the rest of the world for the forseeable future?  What actions can ISO take to reduce the 40% or more rework that is the software development of today – by providing useful standards with proven practices and processes?

Guidance (e.g., here’s some suggestions and processes you might want to try at your organization) or Prescriptions (e.g., Here’s the model to follow to improve requirements and minimize costly rework?)

To your successful projects!


Carol Dekkers

For more information on northernSCOPE(TM) visit (in English pages) and for upcoming training in Tampa, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Helsinki and other locations in 2010, visit
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3 responses to “American software development – guidance or prescriptions needed?

  1. These days, I come down on the side of guidance. Prescription suggests something that should be more or less guaranteed to work. Guidance, of course, can include “model[s] to follow to improve requirements and minimize costly rework”.

    I think standards folks should also start focusing on considering how value is generated in an organization at least as much as how to avoid waste. One can reduce waste, but not support creating much value or, at least, not as much value as the organization needs for even trying to save the waste was worth in the first place.


    • Scott, thanks for your comment and insights. I absolutely agree and it’s the business and value that really matter (or should matter) in software development. I appreciate your input! Carol


  2. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definately be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment.
    iso 9000


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