All Those New Old Ideas

Marcin Niebudek

I’m still about to write a roundup of AgileEE conference that we attended in Kiev few days ago, but just to warm you up I want to try a little quiz (somehow inspired by J. B. Rainsberger).

Take a look at the following quotes I’ve chosen from a single article:

  • “For some reason what a software design is going to do is subjective to wide interpretation even after previous agreement. It is important to involve the customer in a formal way so that he has committed himself at earlier points before final delivery.”
  • “[...] Every bit of code should be subjected to a simple visual scan by a second party who did not do the original code [...]“
  • “To give the contractor free rein between requirement definition and operation is inviting trouble.”
  • “Test every logic path in the computer program at least once with some kind of numerical check.”
  • “Without this simulation the project manager is at mercy of human judgment.”
  • “If the computer program in question is being developed for the first time, arrange matters so that version finally delivered to the customer [...] is actually the second version insofar as critical design/operations areas are concerned.”
  • “Each and every worker must have an elemental understanding of the system.”

Do you see all the customer involvement, common vision/goal, code reviews, unit testing, prototypes that I see in this? So the question is where do those quotes come from :-) But don’t cheat :-) Make a wild guess.

I’ll post a response in the comments in few days if it’s needed (but I don’t think it will be necessary). So have fun while thinking about it for few minutes.


  1. Walter -

    From Winston W. Royce?

  2. Marcin Niebudek -

    :-) Come on people, not all at the same time :-)

    @Walter – You are right!

    So now maybe few words of explanation why I found it interesting to bring those quotes. Winston W. Royce published his article in 1970. And I personally find many parts of this article very interesting and very close to what Agile Manifesto emphasized.

    OK – It’s still waterfall, but as J. B. Rainsberger said at AgileEE in Kiev – most people stopped reading this paper after a first 1-2 pages (or didn’t read it at all). However we like comparing Agile to Waterfall and proving Waterfall is wrong or evil.

    What interests me the most after reading Royce’s article is why it took us so long to find those parts quoted here important and turn it into some comprehensive set of practices we call Agile today (after over 30 years)?

    Stay tuned for more puzzlers :-) I have few more “old” papers on my desk waiting to be discovered one more time :-)

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