Imagine that you have a large and complex application running in your shop, and you discover that you need what looks like fairly complex changes made to it in a hurry. You consult your programmers and they tell you that the changes will probably take several months, but they will take a look. A meeting is called of all the people involved - not just programmers and analysts, but users and operations personnel as well. The essential logic of the program is put up on the wall, and the program designers walk through the program structure with the group. During the ensuing discussion, they realize that two new modules have to be written and some other ones have to change places. Total time to make the changes - a week!
Quite a few parts of this scenario sound unlikely, don't they? Users, operations people and programmers all talking the same language - unthinkable! But it actually did happen just the way I described. The factor that made this experience so different from most programmers' everyday experience is the truly revolutionary technology I will be describing in this book.
While this technology has been in use for productive work for the last 20 years, it has also been waiting in the wings, so to speak, for its right time to come on stage. Perhaps because there is a "paradigm shift" involved, to use Kuhn's phrase (Kuhn 1970), it has not been widely known up to now, but I believe now is the time to open it up to a wider public.