Cars, Software and Competitiveness

It is often said that software development should be like building cars.

But cars are very different from modern software systems.
Since its invention more that 100 years ago a car is a very stable concept.
This works because the purpose for which it is build (driving on a more or less solid ground) is stable as well.

Software on the other hand needs to be much more flexible because the context changes frequently.
Some examples are markets, organizations, products and the internet.
The concept of software is much more abstract than the concept of a car.

More and more people realize that agility paired with quality is a key success factor.
That’s why a short concept to market cycle is needed.

Automotive is in fact a bad role model. You can see that every day.
The market is demanding for efficient cars with a low carbon footprint.
But the vendors fail to deliver. Why? Because they are too inflexible.

Let us not make the same fault.
In fact the methods and tools are available to establish a fast concept to market cycle.
Some examples are Scrum, Silverlight SketchFlow and Business driven SOA

If the companies have the heart to try those new approaches, they might be with rewarded with competitive advantage and flexibility.