Among non-technologists, I think there is a common belief -- a wishful thought-- that building software is like any manufacturing process. You just need to design the process, and then get the widgets on the assembly line to execute the process-- and viola! If a widget quits, you just buy a new widget at
the widget store Monster.com.
Thankfully, most of the truly remarkable software projects and software teams over the last decade have debunked this myth and shown the lie. The agile manifesto itself states to value people over processes and this is really a statement against this manufacturing projection.
I ran across this wonderful quote while reading Eric Evan's Domain Driven Design:
Manufacturing is a popular metaphor for software development. One inference from this metaphor: highly skilled engineers design; less skilled laborers assemble the products. This metaphor has messed up a lot of projects for one simple reason -- software development is all design.