The ‘software trap’

Organizations and software development teams often get into what I call the deadly ‘software trap’. This usually happens in 3 stages:

Stage – 1. A happy beginning
Software is created to solve organizational problem. Everyone is happy, people love the software

Stage – 2. The demands keeps rising
As organization evolves, people demand more – ideas are thrown in from all sides – software team gets into reactive mode, they roll out features to satisfy immediate needs – innovation and foresight takes a back seat.

Stage – 3. Software becomes hard to live with
As more layers of software are added, it gets difficult to modify it – the pace of change reduces – the software is not in sync with the organizational change. Software becomes yet another problem to be solved!

Finally, there is stage when software stops evolving, the development team gets into defense mode, users get cynical about the software, managers begin the blame game.

Getting into this trap is almost a natural process (thanks to the way human beings are) but it can be avoided with some discipline and simple measures.  I will write more about these measures in future articles.