Wednesday, February 7, 2007

What is SDM and why does it matter?

Managing software projects is not the easiest job. There are just so many competing influences. Trying to line up what customers and users want, with what is reasonable for developers to build, and what can be done given the schedule, resources, and budget available, is basically the intractable force meeting the immovable object. So many times during software projects, I feel myself drifting into the Talking Heads song, Once in a Lifetime, as I ask myself, “well, how did I get here.”

Pardon the music reference. I’m predisposed to borrow quotes from music and movies to help me describe an event or emotion, so I hope this starts a trend and lots of you make similar contributions. And anyway, Once in a Lifetime is a very cool, albeit a bit twisted, and hence of of my favorite Talking Heads songs. But I digress.

Over the last few years, a new curveball began being tossed at the job of managing software development projects. Enter offshoring – stage right (or east actually). Now, on top of all the complexities involved in delivering software, we need to find, manage, and coordinate resources located around the globe. And, believe me, assimilating new cultures and personalities into the already quirky software development process ain’t no piece a cake.

So, what is SDM, and why does it matter? Well, SDM is the set of processes, resources, systems, and metrics that make up the job of delivering the software that, more and more powers virtually everything on our humble planet earth.

This blog is dedicated to identifying these items, discussing them, and helping us all better deal with the challenges of building software in today’s ever flattening world. As I stood in central Bangalore recently marveling at what truly looked like the new center of the software universe, Dorothy came to mind, cause “toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

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