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The author of this website is Don Wells. He learned about how teams become unproductive while at Honeywell and General Electric. He then learned a great deal about teams becoming super productive while building expert diagnostic systems for the US Army and Ford Motor Co. Many artificial intelligence practices are now common in software development.
The turning point in current software development came in the mid 1990s. Many people were re-examining the idea that software must be built like hardware. Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber were formalizing a new process called SCRUM. Alistair Cockburn was working on Crystal Clear. Chrysler was doing its part by trying to build traditional business systems using object oriented technology. This is a common approach now that Java is used in almost all domains, but was very advanced in the previous millennia.
Don was hired on to the Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation (C3) project as an expert in object technology and GUIs. It didn’t take long for him to spot some serious trouble. The   team   was   splintered  into  3  groups   that worked in competition instead of cooperation. The project was becoming overdue. Estimates were showing  it  way  over budget.  It was also way too complex and riddled with redundant code (Conway’s Law) to ever work reliably  in  production.  His   assessment   of   the
situation was to start over.  There was time to make the deadline but only if the team worked together in cooperation and sharing as opposed to competition and isolation.
You can probably imagine that starting a project over after millions of dollars were already invested is a tricky situation. Don had to wait for exactly the right moment. That moment came when a consultant named Kent Beck was hired to optimize the C3 system’s performance. Kent decided to spend a half hour with each of the developers to get an idea of what needed to be done. When he began talking to Don he ended up spending 3 hours. At the end of that time Don had convinced Kent that the current code base would never make it into production. Kent presented that result to Chrysler management and they agreed.
The project was halted and Don began not just mending fences but completely tearing them down between team members. Chrysler management noticed what he was doing and offered him the position of chief architect. Don graciously refused while explaining his concept of everyone owning and contributing to the system’s design. No one understood his goal yet.
Kent Beck was hired to spend a couple days each month on the C3 project. Chrysler also hired Ron Jeffries to join notable agile proponents Martin Fowler and Chet Hendrickson on the project. Kent mixed  together  the  best  practices
Don Wells is on the left (no, far left)
from several emerging agile processes with things he had learned while working with Ward Cunningham. The C3 team created a new process formulation by watching what helped or hindered. Doing more of what helps and less of what hinders resulted in a minimal process with high flexibility.
Kent wanted the team to integrate code often, but it wasn’t working. Kent had appointed an integration czar with integration lieutenants in a hierarchy. Integrating that way put a chief architect back into the project and slowed them down till they were integrating once every three weeks and taking days to do it. A hot spot of complexity was also brewing. Don came up with an idea. It would solve the current integration problem, allow design simplifications, and lead the team to his ultimate goal of collective ownership.

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