I had the opportunity to discuss knowledge-based product development over a dinner with Don Reinertsen the other day. More specifically, we discussed Lean vs. Agile, and I had the chance to pop my usual question: Why are almost always software companies exempt from the studies on how lean practices can improve the results? And, as usual, the answer is that we are portraying ourselves as being "too different to have general product development principles applied" to us - but he actually thought this would not necessary be the case.
Michael Kennedy has previously pointed out to me that he thought the software industry actually could be "more lean" because of the malleable nature of our products. And I have thought for quite some time now that we should be able to learn practices from other product development industries that they have been perfecting for decades now.
Perhaps it is time to realize that what we are doing involves a lot of handicraft, research, and trial and error, and need to be managed and controlled with apt practices.