Split or share

I believe we should move from a culture based on splitting to one based on sharing. There is a parallel with the challenge facing e.g. China to move from a planified to a market economy.

The former, traditional, turns around planning, identifying domains with minimal overlap and clear interfaces, assigning responsibilities and avoiding communications. The work is carried in isolation. The interfaces are localized in advance. Communication needs are minimal since the domains do not overlap. Also the communication is not conflictual: it is two-way informative. Possible conflicts have been resolved at planning time.

The inadaptation of this culture comes from its hidden assumptions: that the domain is stable and well-understood enough to be reasonably mapped in advance. Our discomfort shows in frequent organizational changes, pressure to reduce cycles (and thus efficiency) and late detection of unanticipated problems and conflicts.

Sharing is made possible by the flexibility of software and the support of tools. It requires, and enables, management and continuous communications.

Sharing, SCM culture,
Collaboration ToC
Marc Girod
Last modified: Wed Apr 18 08:21:53 EETDST 2001