Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Software is never finished

In an article about 'lean manufacturing' there is a comment that made me think. It was listing the root causes of productivity issues in an office. Amongst them was this...

"Excessive automation - too complex and inflexible, requirements usually go into great depth, but miss what is important."

Now I am a strong advocate of automation, so the concept of overautomation struck me as odd. The point is valid. You get to see it in shops when you ask for some infomation only to hear "the system doesn't allow us to do that. Sorry."

The article is about continually refactoring how a business works to keep it efficient. Definitely a theme I agree with. In development, if we want to change a process we can build the tools we need to make the new process work. Some industries don't have that ability. Even worse, it's often software thats the culpret. Once they have a software package installed in their company, its with them for years. The automation that originally was installed to simplify things becomes the system everyone is having to work around to get their job done.

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