Thursday, January 03, 2008

Take it away till it works

Back in the 90s when I was doing CORBA and GUI work there was a little mantra that I'd learnt that I can't for the life of me remember where it came from, its something however that applies equally to IT systems as it does to GUI work. Its a bit like JAGNI but its used to actively help reduce requirements. The rules are simple
  1. What do you want to do - state it clearly and concisely
  2. Define your requirements
  3. Take away requirements until you don't meet the objective
Basically what you should do in a project is look at all the requirements and remove them one by one, only replacing them if you now don't deliver 80% of the required business case. The key is to keep saying "NO" over and over again and saying "its in stage 2" to all of the other requirements. What we used to find in GUIs is that once people used a clean interface that didn't have all the bells and whistles people didn't ask for them to be added as they liked using the clean interface. I've found the same thing with other solutions and in particular the deliver of Services. Its amazing how much more powerful a simple service that does a given job well can be and how people come to cope with a simple service and don't demand more complexity.

So in 2008 don't ask what you can do, ask what you can't.

Technorati Tags: ,

1 comment:

Simon Plant said...

Take me away until I no longer work is my motto for 2008. When are we going to arrange that boarding trip?