The Chinese Wall

Reading about the Chinese Wall. Found this description;

In business, a Chinese wall is an information barrier implemented within a firm to separate and isolate persons who make investment decisions from persons who are privy to undisclosed material information which may influence those decisions. This is a way of avoiding conflict of interest problems. In general, all firms are required to develop, implement, and enforce reasonable policies and procedures to safeguard insider information and to ensure that no improper trading occurs. Although specific procedures are not mandated, adopted practices must be formalized in writing and be appropriate and sufficient. Procedures should address the following areas: education of employees, containment of inside information, restriction of transactions, and trading surveillance.”

So it’s a barrier, a conceptual notion, that separates two or more groups, as a means of restricting the flow of information. Okay, you want a Chinese Wall to avoid conflict of interest. Got that.

Just wondering why we have so many Chinese Walls in the world of software development? (i.e. the project team, the contractor, the testing team, the maintenance team etc. )

Why on earth would delivering great software to end-users benefit from huge Chinese Walls?

A small sanity check;

Our respected customer needs a very complex system. One he will value highly. We have never build a system like this before. Let’s make sure the people involved see each other (a) as much as possible, or (b) not at all.


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