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Chapter 53. Culture Change > Alpha to Omega

Alpha to Omega

If you don't target new technology and techniques to the right spot, adoption will be slowed and chances of success lowered. For example, one approach to moving into large-scale object-oriented software engineering might be to hire a major consulting group with their rationalized, unified Object Method for Engineering Giant Applications (OMEGA), complete with seven volumes of procedures manuals and a graded series of training classes supported by an integrated CASE tool. This could be just the ticket for a group with a history of disciplined development and shelves lined with well-thumbed standards manuals, but a flock of free-thinkers who work to their own standards will duck out of classes to cut code, leave the manuals unread, and shrug it all off as “more of that corporate crud.” Their approaches, like their skills and abilities, are individualized. To reach them, you don't shove them all into one large classroom to watch a video and get quizzed by a clone instructor. Accustomed to reaching their own conclusions about what is worth learning, then picking it up on their own, they have to be persuaded one at a time, then provided with local resources for individualized learning-by-doing.

What you try to introduce should be shaped to the culture, too. Take modeling tools. Tools integrated around specific methods and imposing standardized ways of working will be more fully and effectively utilized where practices are already well institutionalized. Flexible diagramming tools or custom configured suites will be a better fit with groups whose practices center on individuals or informal group culture.


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