Major League SEMAT: Why Should an Executive Care?

Becoming better, faster, cheaper, and happier

In today’s ever more competitive world, boards of directors and executives demand that CIOs and their teams deliver “more with less.” Studies show, without any real surprise, that there is no one-size-fits-all method to suit all software initiatives, and that a practice-based approach with some light but effective degree of order and governance is the goal of most software-development departments. SEMAT (Software Engineering Method and Theory) is a collaborative initiative whose mission is to provide software engineering with a foundation, based on a kernel of practice-independent elements, supported by a language that allows best practices to be described in as light or as detailed a way as needed. These can then be selected by teams for the context of their endeavor, thus ensuring the organization neither falls into a practice free-for-all nor constrains its business into a process straitjacket.

Executives have reason to care about SEMAT. The initiative supports the goals of “more with less” by delivering value at the team and organizational levels. Initiatives will always remain at a theoretical level unless and until proven through experimentation, and the case for SEMAT is strongly supported through real-life case studies.