The Design of Software (CLOSED)

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Time not money is often the culprit

Excellent start to a treatment on something so often misunderstood. My experiences tell me though that skimping on design is not usually caused by a desire to save money (i.e. people) - it's caused by a desire to save time.

Yes, those two things are incredibly related, but it's not a 1-1 relationship (as you have noted before in quoting the Mythical Man Month before).

The whole topic of "Time to market" is an interesting one. Too much emphasis on time to market wrecks many projects through this kind of skimping. On the other hand, I've also witnessed the projects that just never ship. Complicated.
Peter Santangeli Send private email
Friday, January 27, 2006
 
 
>> My experiences tell me though that skimping on design
>> is not usually caused by a desire to save money (i.e.
>> people) - it's caused by a desire to save time.
Excellent observation and I second your observation.

I'd also like to add that skimping on design also occurs as a reaction to inertia. That is, we see a need to take a different approach but we've already had so much work in the current direction that chaning directions, even if it's a good idea, is going to be too difficult.

People will go to what is familiar, not what is better/comfortable/easier, etc. (This is an observation by Virginia Satir that seems to fit my experience as well.)
Brett L. Schuchert Send private email
Friday, January 27, 2006
 
 
In order for time to market to be the overriding concern you need a good reason why your competitors won't eat your lunch with a more well designed system later on. If all the early adopters swear and curse while the normal people buy the newer more powerful alternative, they won't be giving you free money.

Also, you need to make sure that the "get it done now, no time to waste!" philosophy doesn't result in several unsellable versions before you actually reach the market. Sometimes the "no design, we're in a hurry" approach actually slows the process down.

Sunday, January 29, 2006
 
 

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