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Chapter 10. Lessons for Success in Globa... > 10.3. Risks and Limitations - Pg. 204

204 Chapter 10 Success in Global Enterprise Software Delivery 10.2.5 Summary I've highlighted several important categories of enterprise. While each has its own characteristics, the importance of supply chain thinking can be demon- strated across these categories. However, the priority and interpretation of many of the specific techniques I've described is, of course, dependent on the context, and care must be taken in how these techniques are adapted to suit the specific circumstances. 10.3 Risks and Limitations An essential part of any proposed set of changes to process and practices is to have a clear view of the risks and limitations associated with them. A global approach to enterprise software delivery is no exception. In this section I exam- ine four important areas for concern: applicability to SMEs, the impact of organizational immaturity, how to maintain innovation in industrialized soft- ware delivery, and mitigation approaches across supply chain weaknesses. 10.3.1 Applicability to SMEs It can be claimed that failure to manage enterprise system complexity is the sin- gle biggest reason that those systems so often fail. 1 But complexity has many dimensions and is a result of many factors. It may be that the domain being addressed is challenging to understand and model (e.g., domains such as avion- ics, biotechnology, telecommunications, and many others). Perhaps that domain is highly governed and requires extreme levels of transparency and reporting to be auditable (e.g., many financial management and health care domains). In many cases, the complexity is associated with the technology context in which the software operates, perhaps supporting an array of diverse platforms or requiring high levels of fault tolerance and self-correction due to instabilities that can arise in the technology as it is deployed. However, most frequently the complexity arises as a result of scale. Many of the most complex enterprise systems exhibit that complexity because they ad- dress a broad range of capabilities, they are created by large teams of people, and they require diverse skills from several teams in different organizations to collaborate in their construction. Much of the work in software engineering over the past years has been aimed at understanding and managing these kinds 1. This claim was discussed in detail, for example, in Roger Session's writings, available at www .objectwatch.com.