Wednesday, 4 July 2012


Instoolation (n): belief that process problems can be solved by installing a tool. Gojko Adzic, BDD: busting the Myths.

I see that mistake more and more everywhere I go. During last Iltam meeting Elad gave a talk about tools for agile project management and the general spirit of the audience was, we have all sorts of thing we need to solve and we expect a good tool to help us solve those. things like dependency tracking, risk management, predictability, traceability, and more.

there is no tool that will solve any of those problems, you first need to install a good process that address those problems and later on you might be able to use a tool to help you to reduce the effort you invest in the solution.

but actually I didn’t want to write much about that, I do want to discuss about what happens when you add another deadly ingredient in the mix:

Not Invented Here (NIH) – Syndrome

From Wikipedia:

Not invented here (NIH) is a term used to describe persistent social, corporate, or institutional culture that avoids using or buying already existing products, research, standards, or knowledge because of their external origins.

So what do you get when you cross an Instoolation disease with the NIH syndrome?

Right. A huge chunk of money that goes down the drain to develop an in house tool that aimed to solve a problem that can’t be solved by a tool.

Just to give an anecdotal example, in one of my past work places, I experienced a 5M$ budget goes into customizing an existing ALM tool which was then assimilated into the company over a period of about 2 years and with extreme pains. The fun part was once the project was “successfully” completed,the involved team was immediately taken to do a proof of concept on replacement tools since the developed system was considered wasteful.

It just pains me to see companies going that road.

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