10 November 2009

Even though...

Paraphrase of something overheard at a recent conference: "Even though it was complicated, they still had problems."

I believe this particular statement was said tongue-in-cheek, but it points to a belief that is seriously held by many technologists and program managers - namely, that making something more complicated makes it better.

That is precisely the attitude that caused me to write The Simplicity Cycle (incidentally, it has now been downloaded over 1500 times! How cool! You can get your free PDF at www.lulu.com/RoguePress)

There is a related belief, that adding money and extending the program's schedule makes things better. And the truth is, that just isn't the case. I'm quite convinced that 99% of the time, the worst thing you can do to a project is give it more time and money. Far better to scale back the requirements (or push them to a future increment).

(Thanks to Pete for the prompt on this one!)


Pete said...

I really don't think it was said tongue-in-cheek, but maybe it went over my head...let's hope so.

The Dan Ward said...

Ah, I guess I was giving them the benefit of the doubt.

I just have a hard time imagining anyone saying words to that effect and meaning them sincerely... (i.e. misunderstanding the impact of complexity so grossly).

But maybe that's my naivete showing through...