Cargo cult software engineering
A related term in software engineering is cargo cult software engineering, coined by Steve McConnell.[
McConnell describes software development organizations that attempt to emulate more successful development houses, either by slavishly following a software development process without understanding the reasoning behind it, or by attempting to emulate a commitment-oriented development approach (in which software developers devote large amounts of time and energy toward seeing their projects succeed) by mandating the long hours and unpaid overtime, when in successful companies these are side-effects of high motivation and not requirements.
In both cases, McConnell contends that competence ultimately determines whether a project succeeds or fails, regardless of the development approach taken; furthermore, he claims that incompetent "impostor organizations" (which merely imitate the form of successful software development organizations) are in fact engaging in what he calls Cargo cult software engineering.