Structured mapmaking, agile and COVID-19

Looking at the approach by health authorities to COVID-19, we see a mix of structured mapmaking and, experimentation. Most things in the real world work like this.

In the digital technology world, Agile has emerged as the dominant development method. That’s like trying to fix COVID-19 just with experiments and no maps.

Agile’s birth can be interpreted as a push by software developers against structured mapmaking – processes, documentation, contracts and plans. I suppose lots of people at the time wanted to make structure, without much sense of how to make digital technology. Perhaps it is now time for structure to push back?

Today’s digital technology, largely made by Agile methods, has weaknesses which are obvious to any heavy user, such as online services which take far too long to deliver their ‘meat’ and endlessly ask us to approve cookies.

And digital technology has potential to do far more to help COVID-19 than it does. Surely it could help tell why North Italy had so many cases, or how much the February weather has to do with the spread?

I propose a new movement to look at how Agile and structured mapmaking could have a better marriage. Perhaps call it Agile with Maps. Anyone interested in joining?

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