Watts S. Humphrey

Watts S. Humphrey, founder of the Software Process Program at the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and recipient of the National Medal of Technology, has passed away Thursday, Oct 28, 2010.

He wrote extensively about software process management, as attested in his writings. I admire his attitude for research about this subject matter. Managers of software technological endeavors would be benefited by adopting such attitude —senior managers could also consider the attitude that produced the Quality Software Management Series by Gerald M. Weinberg.

I have been in open opposition to the Humphrey’s ideas derived from the Manufacturing Maturity Model by Philip Crosby [1], because they represent the preservation of Taylorism upon an endeavor such as the creation of software and its management [2], which are completely different activities than of those in manufacturing.

Nonetheless, reflecting on the perspectives of a writer like Watts S. Humphrey could be very gratifying. There is, in addition, an interview Grady Booch did with him: An Interview with Watts Humphrey.


[1] Background to CMMI

[2] Stretching Agile to Fit CMMI Level 3