Aiming for elegance, one thought at a time

Don’t avoid rework

Posted: January 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: IT | No Comments »

I’ve learnt an important lesson over the last few weeks. Don’t avoid rework – make it easy to do instead.

A few months ago, we were working on the foundations for the project I’m on. We knew that if we got the foundations wrong, the potential rework would be time consuming and expensive. Needless to say, we wanted to avoid that, and so we started doing some analysis to make sure we did it right. All fair enough.

But the fear of getting it wrong led to analysis paralysis. In the end, we ran out of time. We’d only got through one tenth of the scope when we needed to deliver. For the rest, we had to guess, and we got it wrong anyway. We went through the expensive and time consuming rework that we were trying to avoid.

It was only after that experience that we sat down and thought: does this rework really need to be time consuming and expensive? It turns out, the answer is no. With couple of hours work, we were able to write a script that did the bulk of the heavy lifting. It’s still a little bit manual, and if we wanted to, we could certainly make substantial additional improvements.

Already, though, we can feel the fear of rework lifting. We’ve now got the confidence to decide, and act, without wasting time chasing an elusive perfection.

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