Design, Develop, Create

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

A reflection on the themes, theories, and exercises of MDD

What is the focus of the MDD course? The course is designed to critique the lifecycle/methodology perspective and to highlight the necessary tension between orderly and responsive production of high tech systems. It draws a link between the management of systems development with its impact on innovation through technology.
How do the topics, themes, readings and exercises in the MDD course relate to the focus of the course?
Consider these two personas as the audience for this course:
  • a business person participating within a development dynamic
  • a developer interacting within a management dynamic

The themes, theories, and exercises.

The material covers three fields of action or understanding that are ultimately linked by activity and processes.
  • Basic Theories
  • Methodologies or Frameworks (addressing the outward structure of organisation)
  • Practices and Techniques (addressing micro-practices and interpersonal interactions)
The teaching method employs a seminar style with traditional presentation, discussions, case-based learning and practical exercises.
Classroom discussions focus on the readings, cases, exercise or other topics. The benefits of discussion are:
  1. To review the subject matter. 
  2. And more importantly, to familiarise students with the terminology and language of development.
Relating the themes and subject matter to the syllabus

Classroom discussion allows you to acquire and exercise your own knowledge and allow you to employ these terms and the language of development in a risk-free supportive environment.
Each of you will have different knowledge and experience gaps. However the most important part of this exercise is you, the novice wishing to learn or the practitioner wishing to reinterpret your professional practice. You bring a questioning attitude (and a load of questions). The lecturer (and other members of the class) will bring their own experiences and knowledge to the setting in an attempt to interpret and address your questions, suggest alternatives, or suggest new sources of knowledge.


Reflecting on the course, the subject matter and the material presented over the duration of the lectures it is obvious that, at the very minimum, the ideas in the readings are relevant as are the notes and slides on the themes, the optional readings, and perhaps more importantly, the learning you acquired through independent investigation. The book (Soul of a New Machine) and the case studies present opportunities to apply these ideas more broadly and in multiple ways. Consider reflecting at a personal level on own changed perspective or new understanding (or not but if not why not?). Are you able to relate the goals of the course to the content?