Sunday, June 18, 2006


Agile Pioneer?

Was John Gall the pioneer of agile development? His little known book Systemantics (published in 1977 and currently out of print) has been influential in shaping the views of several prominent practitioners of software development:

"A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked…A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system."
— Systemantics: How Systems Really Work and How They Fail. John Gall

Gall's Law has strong affinities to the practice of agile software development, where under-specification rather than over-specification is the key to success.


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