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Changing Software Development: Learning to Become Agile by Allan Kelly

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6.2. Benefits of Technology Change

At some point, every successful software project gets deployed. For the developers this might be the end of the project, but for the users it is only the start. The users need to change their working habits to incorporate the new software. Users who have become accustomed to doing things one way can find it difficult to change. They may question why they should do things differently just because the software has changed.

Software is usually designed to change the way in which people work. At a basic level, technology seeks to automate the current process. Businesses benefit because work gets done quicker, possibly to higher quality and possibly more cheaply because fewer people are needed.

Thinking Point: What Changes Will Your Project Introduce?

What changes will your current project introduce? Who will be affected?

However, automation alone won't maximize the benefits from technology. For example, e-mail can deliver a message in seconds: if we keep our old routine of opening all mail at the start of the day, we have lost much of the advantage that e-mail has over traditional letters and memos. Thus, only when technology (e-mail) is combined with changes in the way we work do we maximize the benefit.

So a more ambitious approach is to re-engineer the processes in place to take full advantage of the technology. The need to change processes to maximize the benefits of technology was a major driving force behind the Business Process Re-engineering ...

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