OpenMRS might help more than the developing world
Posted Jun 21, 2007 18:08 UTC (Thu) by dion
In reply to: OpenMRS might help more than the developing world
Parent article: Google Summer of Code Series, OpenMRS
Well, the waterfall model assumes that you know everything about what you are doing before you start doing it.
So it might work well for very strictly defined problems, like "fly space shuttle", if you do it right.
In the hands of dimwitted, blanco-check writing bureaucrats it's an absolute unmitigated disaster.
Any problem that leads to discoveries during implementation (read: almost all of them) you need something less rigid and less risky.
We as a country has a long history of huge software projects that turn out to be DOA, I remember one system (AMANDA) that took years and millions to produce that ended up being scrapped because it depended on OS/2 and one specific BIOS version, long after both had been EOL'ed.
I think that it would be a great damage control strategy for the government to say that the largest payment that can be made on any governmental software project is 200k DKK (or somesuch) and that the software must be usable before any payment can be made.
A hard cap on single payments will force projects to be cut into smaller pieces and any disaster will be limited to each small sprint rather than be allowed to fester and drag the entire GNP down with it.
That way we could avoid these insane budget overruns and huge software disasters.
It doesn't make any sense to build software like you build bridges, a half finished piece of software can be plenty useful, if not for the end users then for the designers and administrators.
If I was in power I'd also mandate that only my own svn.gov.dk could be used for source control and that all software developed must be publicly accessible and under a Free license.
I'm pretty sure that mandating Agile and OSS would bring down the costs and the risks in these huge administrative software projects.
It's a shame that our politicians are universally IT-retarded so they fall for every trick in the contractors want to pull.
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