Issue No.04 - July (1996 vol.13)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/52.526838
The concept of postnormal science is meant to challenge how science is used today in attacking complex, societal questions, how society values, relates to, and uses science, and what the proper role is of scientists and practitioners of science, such as engineers, in addressing these questions. Although the postnormal concept may not be a perfect analogy or substitute for large-scale software project management, it is clear that the current reliance on a normal-science paradigm is severely wanting. Projects striving for goals like those of the FAA's AAS are needed, and sometimes the "performance envelope" must be pushed. Only through experimentation can true learning, and hence progress, take place. However, it should be remembered that one definition of insanity is when a person, failing at a task, tries the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. Given the success rate of large-scale software projects, you decide.
Robert N. Charette, "Large-Scale Project Management Is Risk Management", IEEE Software, vol.13, no. 4, pp. 110-117, July 1996, doi:10.1109/52.526838