Creating an Information Factory

Creating an Information Factory

Creating an Information FactoryAuthor: Tim Bryce"Q: How many interpretations of systems development are there? A: How many analysts and programmers have you got?" - Bryce's Law INTRODUCTION Back in the early 1980's, Japan's MITI (Ministry of International Trade & Industry) coordinated a handful of Japanese computer manufacturers in establishing a special environment for producing system software, such as operating systems and compilers. This effort came to be known as Japanese "Software Factories" which captured the imagination of the industry. Although the experiment ended with mixed results, they discovered organization and discipline could dramatically improve productivity.

Creating an Information Factory

Why the experiment? Primarily because the Japanese recognized there are fundamentally two approaches to manufacturing anything: "one at a time" or mass production. Both are consistent approaches that can produce a high quality product. The difference resides in the fact mass production offers increased volume at lower costs. In addition, workers can be easily trained and put into production. On the other hand, the "one at a time" approach is slower and usually has higher costs. It requires workers to be intimate with all aspects of the product.

Creating an Information Factory

Which is the most appropriate approach for a development organization to take? That depends on the organization's perspective of systems development.

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