Arm Cl


"We're gonna hold 'em by the nose, and we're gonna kick 'em in the ass."

  --General George S. Patton

Active Risk Management/Continuous Learning ( ARM/CL ) is a highly disciplined engineering approach to building mission-critical software. It is a no-nonsense, results-oriented approach.

The two cornerstones of ARM/CL are:

Some of the ARM/CL practices are: Strategic Planning

"A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week."

  --Gen. George S. Patton

Tactical Planning

"Soldiers usually win the battles and generals get the credit for them."

  --Napoleon Bonaparte 

Maj. FrankStone, US Army, ret.

This is an XpFreeZone. Others are welcome to help complete ARM/CL based on their painfully won experience.

Is it a capital crime to go AWOL from an ArmCl project? No, projects have casualties, the goal is to minimize them. (This is a volunteer situation, and no squad wants a member who doesn't want to be there. We wish them well, regroup, recruit, and move on. --fs)

Who's the enemy? What justifies having casualties? Is it like what SteveJobs said in PiratesOfSiliconValley, "People need a cause," that justified his abuse of power and the destruction of lives? Having power over lives means having responsibility for those lives. Are you doing your job?

I'll answer that one, soldier. The enemy is risk, as an alert reader pointed out. In the military there is strict discipline, and its purpose is to save lives and win the battles we are sent to win. We don't want human casualties. The only casualties on an ARM/CL project are the Field Planning Kit cards that are turned back in to the Commander and stuck on the wall like trophies.

ARM/CL is a discipline of software engineering, not of warfare, based on principles we have found to be effective, principles to which officers and troops respond. These include:

Modern warfare is based much more on the small, well-equipped, flexible squad than on top-down overplanned chain of command organizations. Just so with ARM/CL. An ARM/CL Squad is in constant contact with their Commander, and after each Skirmish (a period of 10 to 15 days), the Commander sets new objectives and the squad devises and executes a plan to attain those objectives.


Another important part of military campaigning is the post-campaign field report used a) to gauge success, b) to maintain active intelligence of the front, c) to derive lessons that can be used to teach future soldiers to fight either at that front or at another one similar to it. A solid understanding of military history is essential to avoid repeating costly mistakes, and a solid understanding of field intelligence hard won by previous combatants is necessary to avoid danger in the first place. Does ArmCl write this important document?

Yes, in the tradition of the UsArmy?. ArmCl uses an AfterActionDebriefing?[1]

That isn't sufficient. That only propagates information up to your commanders who will propagate it incorrectly or summarily up to their commanders and so on. This is perfect for making field decisions but doesn't solve the problem of long-term theatre assessment as posited above. ArmCl seems heavily deficient in this area. Moreover, your Field Planning Kit cards need to be made trackable for strategy and tactics analysis and for assessment of liability. I suspect that they aren't being tracked correctly.

Negative, the days of trench warfare are over. To survive on the modern battle field you must be quick and decisive. This isn't about talking and feeling good. You do not pull the trigger until words have failed.

Nothing in the ArmCl definition states that the decision makers write the documentation or that anyone else does.

That is correct, this document is a work in progress.

See also: WarfareAsSoftwareDevelopmentMetaphor

EditText of this page (last edited April 24, 2003)
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