[lug] software engineering

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Mon Nov 13 18:28:58 MST 2006

Evelyn Mitchell wrote:

> Has anyone else seen Crew Resource Management in an IT or Systems context?

Ohhh, now THAT's it... the big spark of an idea I was looking for.

I'm a pilot and I completely "get" CRM, and know how it really does do a 
pretty dang good job of keeping a lot of failure-prone people alive 
every day.

Now I'm going to be stewing over this all night -- how to correctly 
train and apply CRM techniques in IT.  Hell, thinking about how to sales 
pitch management on trying to use it... hmmmm...

I can definitely see it working in the Operations side of the house, but 
lacking a real understanding of the typical software "development 
process" that happens right at a Software Engineer's desk, I am not sure 
I'd ever be able to figure out how to teach it to Software Engineers as 
a methodology.

Question: Would you consider "pair programming", like what is practiced 
by the XP methodology folks, similar to CRM techniques in aircraft, 
minus the refactoring and closed-loop continuous update jive?

I don't think that quite fits... pair programming is oversight, but is 
missing the checklists and knowledge of how the pair works together.  A 
good pair might figure that type of thing out on their own, but it's not 
there naturally.  Hmmm....

Man that's cool.  CRM in IT.

Critical checklist items committed to memory AND that memory tested by 
someone.  Non-critical items on a checklist but known and done 
instinctively while still referring to the checklist.

Of course that starts to head toward licensure... which is where the 
Doctors, Architects, Lawyers, Electricians, Plumbers, and all the other 
Engineers in the world already are... which kinda runs full-circle back 
to the original discussion.

CRM techniques are ADVANCED techniques for fully-qualified and licensed 
professional pilots who had to put in their time at the lower ranks and 
ratings.  Hmm.

Many private and other mid-range pilots *use* CRM techniques in their 
cockpits also, and can seek out CRM training, etc...

But the higher ranked pilots are TESTED on using the techniques.  You're 
graded on your ability to apply CRM techniques in an airliner cockpit, 
but you're not in a Cessna.  However, CRM makes BOTH pilots better pilots...

(I'm sitting here saying, Hmmmm out loud as I'm thinking.  THANKS FOR 
SHARING THAT THOUGHT EVELYN!... of course, it's now going to take up all 
my remaining brain-cycles while I drive home... and I was planning on 
listening to an Aviation podcast too... I'll probably be making 
correlations in my head all the way home.)


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