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Trade-offs Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, September 24, 2012 9:24 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Trade-offs






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Post #1363763
Posted Monday, September 24, 2012 9:27 PM


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As they used to say in the project management unit I did at uni:

"Time, quality and cost. Pick any two!"


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Post #1363764
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2012 2:54 AM


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With regard to the part about people being difficult to replace - I think software and software management will be one of the last things ever to be automated. As such at present it is one of the last bastions of truly hand built design. Anyone who is good in a built by hand environment can be very diffiult to replace. Especially if they are the original architect of the systems. I think this is why you get problems like the UK banks recent hickup server side (no one was left who had an adequate view of the complete systems).

I like to have a mix of old and new hands as well. The new learn from the old and can get a decent apprenticeship and the new can think differently and a lack of knowledge may mean they try things others would think impossible or just think completely differently. Plus if an oldie leaves an apprentice is in a good position to take over.
Post #1363862
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2012 6:17 AM


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I have heared it as "Good, Fast, Cheap. Pick any two." See here. It's a truism. For the large part it's true. Like most truisms it's true most of the time except for when it isn't. That means that there are exceptions.

Then when it comes to people Steve makes a very good point. I got a neat quote the other day that makes the same point:
Everyone you will ever meet knows something that you don't
-- Bill Nye (the science guy).


ATB

Charles Kincaid

Post #1363970
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2012 6:47 AM


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I too have been working on the "pick 2" rule mentioned by others here, for most of my adult life. Can't remember where/when I first ran into that rule. Maybe in my management training in the early 90s.

And I definitely agree, people are never a "commodity". Even a "would you like fries with that" type position in a company can be better served by some people than by others. Some will, just by attitude, body language, etc., encourage people to come back, while some will drive people away, even on something as simple as that.


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Post #1364005
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2012 6:50 AM


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"Better, faster, cheaper--pick two" is certainly a reality in our world and in any engineering discipline.

But we can do better, I think, in putting more emphasis on the DESIGN phase of any project. I've probably spent (at least!) a couple of years of my working life redoing work that someone else had not thought through well enough. Designing a project from A to Z is time-consuming but it cuts down sharply the time required for development.

As I read in another post in this forum, from Abraham Lincoln, "If I had 8 hours to cut down a tree, I'd spend 6 hours sharpening the ax."


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Post #1364008
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2012 6:51 AM


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Always enough time to do it twice but never enough time to do it right seems to be the way it goes more often than not.

Cheers
Post #1364010
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2012 7:10 AM


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I've always told my managers that building software is a trade off. We can do things cheaply, or we can do them quickly, but we can rarely do both. We can certainly fail in both ways, and many people do, but I usually see the need to trade time for money, or vice versa, when building software.

Building a piece of software cheaply and quickly isn't mutually exclusive. It can routinely be done by narrowing (trading off) the scope of the deliverable and keeping the stakeholders and requirments to a minimum.



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Post #1364017
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2012 7:10 AM
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In my experience, it's often not helped by deadlines being set by people who have no understanding of the field - be that software engineering, infrastructure, building work etc. And then further problems being brought about by people just not listening to what the experts are telling them.

Bitter? me? No...



Post #1364018
Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2012 8:39 AM
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I've heard that triangle put differently: time, cost and features. We're embarking on a major re-write of a legacy app. Before we started on this I had plans and specs as to what would go into the new app. I had some great features. Now I've learned that the deadline isn't moveable, and the cost is fixed, so now, only a month into the project I'm beginning to consider what features we can throw out, because clearly we're going to have to eliminate some features if we're to come in on time and on budget.

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Post #1364088
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