Today I am preparing for a couple of talks about Software Factories that I am giving later in the month to groups of architects in France and Germany. I’m reminded of some material which I often go back to that I discovered about 10 years ago when I joined IBM and we were working out how to increase re-use across our services engagements. This is the “Dynamic Stability Model”. Quoting from the 1993 IBM Systems Journal article New competitive strategies: challenges to organizations and information technology:
“We refer to this synergy as dynamic stability, which defines organizational designs that combine the best of mass customization and continuous improvement. These organizations can respond to rapidly changing and unpredictable product or service markets (dynamic) from an efficient, long-term (stable), flexible, and adaptive base of process capabilities. Such stable process capabilities are the key to mass customizers and enable them to respond to dynamic product change.”
It seems to me that this lies quite near the heart of the problem of producing software efficiently, which is essentially a problem of mass-customization. It’s a good article.