In this article we discover the roots and maturation of software development methods and practices through a comparative study. We notice that the evolution of software development methods has mirrored the evolution in manufacturing paradigms. Further, investigations reveal that the change software development methods have lagged the change in manufacturing paradigms indicating the source of inspiration for software development and practices is manufacturing and not the other way around. This investigation is useful and timely, especially in the context of plan-driven versus agile methods conundrum. It helps us acquire an in-depth understanding of how software development methods originated, why some of them have prevailed while others have not. Further, these insights help us assess the relevance of current practices and methods of software development and predict their future trajectory.



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