Fall in love with your methodologies

Good piece from Patrick Gray on Tech Republic’s IT Leadership blog: “Don’t Fall In Love (with your methodology)“.

I know big companies and consulting firms succumb to this. I have succumbed to this.

That said, in the past two years as a consultant, I am astonished to have seen IT organizations with no methodology or process whatsoever. Some swear off any kind of structure as bureaucracy their organization cannot afford. Others refer to some vague code of conduct or standard that is never documented and varies wildly depending on the person recounting it. A chaotic few say they are “agile” despite having no knowledge of what that term means (hint: it does not mean anything goes!).

I am getting to develop some methodologies now for a client. I am already feeling a strong reverence for what I am creating. I do need to step back and ensure that with my new hammer I don’t see every problem as a nail. Yet if you cannot identify patterns, group them into a process which fits about 80% of your work, everything you do will be a one-off. You will forget things, spin your wheels, fail to properly set expectations, and be unable to take advantage of economies of scale. So okay, maybe I shouldn’t fall in love with the methodology, but we can sure be good buddies!