There are several reasons why I'm involved with SEMAT:
- The industry clearly needs something like this. Ivar Jacobson has been writing and speaking for awhile now about how our industry behaves in a similar manner to the fashion industry -- we lurch from one cool idea (the fashion) to another and few of us observe that the current fashion is often just a rehash of fashion(s) from the past.
- The right people are involved. The SEMAT initiative has attracted a wide range of industry experts, including both the old guard, the new "agile guard", and people in between. Arguably we may be short a few people, the data community isn't well represented and I'm not sure we have the systems community covered well, but we can address those challenges in time.
- We'll achieve something. We may not pull of the entire vision, but we are going to produce something of value and I hope that it has a positive impact on the industry. Time will tell.
I have several thoughts about the SEMAT vision which I'd like to share with you:
- The vision is coherent. A lot of reasoned effort went into it's development as you can see when you read it.
- It will be a challenge to identify a non-trivial kernel. Even developing a kernel language will be hard as people will often stick to their preferred terms. For example, is it an iteration, a sprint, or a time box?
- Practitioners may not notice. It will also be a significant challenge to get practitioners interested in the SEMAT effort and more importantly to leverage the material. For example, the patterns community has a long history of producing great work which for the most part is ignored by the vast majority of practitioners, with the exception of a handful of the hundreds of patterns out there. So, although SEMAT is likely to produce some great ideas, will anyone care?
- Academics may not notice. I suspect that this will be less of a problem than practitioners not noticing, but it's still a possibility.
- Position papers from many of the signatories, including myself, will soon be published at the SEMAT site. Several non-signatories have been invited to submit papers as well.
- A workshop is being held in the third week of March in Zurich. At this workshop the people who published position papers will flesh out our ideas.
- I'll blog about these things as they occur.