In a sensible use of formal mechanisms, it serves 2 purposes:
- As a mechanism for specifying with reasonable precision at least
parts of what has been agreed upon
- As a platform for tools that can catch silly mistakes before
they get published in permanent form
They can neither serve as a substitute for clear thinking nor as a
substitute for clear talking.
But I think they CAN help point out where we have made decisions that lead
to real operational problems (fin-wait-2 anyone?) before these problems
come up to hurt us.
--On 7. desember 2001 18:50 -0500 John Stracke
Instead it seems that formal mechansms are always sold
as a substitute for design skill and talent, but end up consuming a lot
of both that should have been spent on designing the nominal product,
And, in standards development, they also serve to raise the bar for
anybody who wants to contribute to the standard, thereby protecting the
privileged position of the people who know the formal mechanisms.