In recent years management in corporations outside of software development, in addition to engineers of inventions, such as in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, have adapted innovation within their fields to the latest trends in creativity. Both Open Source and Extreme Programming initially proved to be key in software development and the respective success of each in areas outside of Information Technology is proof of the efficacy of both. With the current Mattson Project Delta it is key to dissect both approaches in both inherent benefit to creativity and further value to future projects.
Possible downfalls to each approach must be examined, as well. Each approach holds interest to Mattson and we are fortunate that Mr. Gundrum is open to each approach and willing to implement both new strategies, in addition to the traditional hierarchal approach with Project Delta. Review of the latest approaches is crucial to the projection of success of Mattson’s newest launch, the traditional yet indulgent cookie. Benefits of Open Source and Extreme Programming Project Development
Open Source project development offers a team environment to solving problems, in a format where the open exchange of ideas is welcomed from onset to project completion. Specialists in several different areas are treated as equals and there is no hierarchal structure where group members are advised in direction or creativity. Ideas can come as random and be followed through with another cohort adding to or using only a fraction of an idea. The benefit of having employees from different levels and areas of expertise is that each idea can be added to when information is available to all.
Morale and a sense of momentum can run high and fast and innovation and creativity are sure to follow when coherent direction is established. Additionally, lack of a cold, bureaucratic, and competitive structure can create a camaraderie with the group in a common goal, relieving the project of destructive interactions, such as cynicism, distrust, and competition. The Extreme Programming approach to project development discards the idea of total group benefit and, instead utilizes a dyad; two individuals working to come up with innovative solutions and ideas in a more structured way.
Employees are also expected to be more courageous with this type of approach, as they are in a setting with only one other individual. Communication is easier with the work done in this stage and after some conclusions are made a whole group of dyads are brought together to share. The center of the group, called the “customer” sits in to help the group understand their market and the needs that must be met. Like Open Source project development, this approach is not hierarchal and instead staged.
By staging, it is fair to say that the dyads are equals and can quickly and efficiently manage ideas and feedback in the first stage and then contribute coherent and preplanned ideas to the group and the “customer”. At no point does hierarchy and competition become an issue, as the groups of two have ample time to resolve differences and will be supportive of one another in the second stage. Various other stages are built around the “program”, or in this case, product developed by each small group.
Creativity is built continuously in this way. Downsides to Open Source and Extreme Programming Project Development: Both Open Source and Extreme Programming project development can be problematic with employees that are accustomed to the traditional, hierarchal method of project development. When change is implemented too quickly, it can come as a shock to all parties and this type of internal unrest is counterproductive in establishing a creative and innovative environment.
The strain of each employee questioning their ability to contribute to project development (especially if they are specialists in a field out of research and development) can generate an atmosphere of doubt. There is not mention of any introductory programs to help ease employees into the new project, and without this hierarchal and informative pre-test, creativity cannot flourish. There needs to be an atmosphere of wholeness with the entire staff involved and both of the novel programs must be properly introduced. With Open Source project development singularly, confusion can be created with the lack of a measurable timetable of stages.
This method is meant to break down structured and rigid development programs that can stifle creativity, but may prove to be problematic without the focus and time management that is crucial to project completion. Without some measurable structure and instruction chaos may replace creativity. With Extreme Programming project development the presence of too much structure may lead to more rigid results despite the success in the world of Information Technology. There are only so many steps that can be taken in the formation of a cookie recipe and the stages may become redundant and useless in the area of food product development.
Most importantly, Mattson himself states that he is in favor of less structured processes. Unless some of the many steps of Extreme Programming are curtailed to this specific industry much time can be lost in this process. Recommendation of Appropriate Approach I believe that Extreme Programming project development will be the most effective program for launching Mattson’s new cookie recipe. Although Mr. Gunderson believes that highly structured programs are ineffective and stifling to innovation, the stages of development can be shortened to be effective and this program has additional benefits to all employees.
With any new program, as stated earlier, it is essential to become slowly integrated into the process and the latent function of the dyad group could be to provide positive feedback to both the project at hand and to the overall process. Being that EP is simple and customer based it should prove to be more receptive to employees and bring a constant curtailing of not only customer needs, but employee and company needs, as well. Influence of Implemented Rules: The projected case scenario of Project Delta will be that the control group will comfortably design a recipe that will be average, but prove to fall short of project goals.
Ideally, the new programs will prove to have extraordinary ideas to implement the arduous task of creating a recipe that is not only healthy, but delicious and 15% superior to any similar food products on the market in terms of nutritional benefit. The deadline of six months will be helpful to the Open Source project development group in setting some type of time structure, but be of little help to internal creation during that time period. The extremely high standards that must be met to fulfill the parameters will prove to add cynicism and doubt to an already chaotic unstructured environment.
The best outlook will be that camaraderie will form more quickly and equality will be seen, as all members of this group will be facing the same obstacle. After the initial shock, team members will seek to do what they believe is impossible, so ideas will not be looked upon as strange, because all involved will be open to any idea. The Extreme Programming project development dyads will hopefully, not only help encourage one another, but one member can focus on nutritional requirements and the other on making the cookie taste better and be more marketable to others.
Of utmost importance is the “customer” involved to lend support and help the project move in the right direction. Staffing the Teams All three teams should be strategically staffed to provide valid and reliable results. The control group should be staffed as usual with the hierarchal structure of project manager, who organizes the timetable and quality control elements and safeguards that assure that each phase of the project is going according to schedule.
Under the project manager should be someone from Research and Development that can scope out the market and discover the best way to move forward. This person should give frequent reports to the creative, technical, and culinary people, who will tackle the recipe itself, as well as advertising and marketing. This should be set up as typical as the traditional group as possible and the group should not be informed that this is an “experiment”. Each group should be equipped with at least one R&D person, as well as a creative and technical person.
To be sure that that newer projects are successful in their own right, each should be staffed with different levels of management and no project manager. The only employee that will be set apart from the rest will be the Extreme Programming project development ‘s “customer”, who should be a culinary person with taste and experience for flavor. Both groups should have this advantage to be fair, so the Open Source project development group should be staffed with a culinary person, as well, so taste tests can be set up at intervals chosen by the OS group and implemented in the stages of the EP group.
Since the OS group has no written rules, it is only a projected outcome that there will be a taste test done for them. Both of the experimental groups should have people from all age groups. Since more seasoned employees, as stated before, may be hesitant to try new modes of operation, it will help in future projects. Conversely, younger members may already have some familiarity with these two new programs and can help tremendously with their respective groups.
Courtney from Study Moose
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