Escaping Method Prison – On the Road to Real Software Engineering

  • Ivar Jacobson
  • Roly Stimson
Open Access


The way we develop software has changed dramatically over time. As an industry we have followed a zig-zag path moving from paradigm to paradigm and from method to method, changing very much like the fashion industry changes clothes. In this paper we will show that with every new method adoption, we walk into a method prison; a prison that is generally very expensive and demoralizing to escape. Like the fashion industry with the latest styles for the season, companies decide to chase the latest exciting method, only to end up in another method prison. And the cycle repeats.

We will discuss method prisons and what characterizes them. We will also show this has led to a method war. A war that has been going on for 50 years or more, and there is still no end in sight.

How foolish is this? How can we software development professionals continue letting this happen? Have we given up and can’t we see a way to put an end to this story? In this article we will show you a way to dramatically change how we deal with methods. A way, which shows the path to a more successful software world, a world based on sustainable change free of method prisons. A smarter way going forward.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivar Jacobson
    • 1
  • Roly Stimson
    • 1
  1. 1.Ivar Jacobson InternationalLondonUK

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