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If the IT industry had a school report it would say ‘Must Try Harder’ and that’s simply because we haven’t worked hard enough to sort out perceptions.

Let me give you an example, how often do you hear comments from your help-desk saying “Have you tried switching you PC off and on again?” Isn’t it about time we got this sorted? Even the perception?

Now I know that a lot of things can make this sort of thing happen, well for my mind its just laziness why we haven’t sort out all the reasons yet! Another demonstration on how the Industry is just greedy to make the next buck and just doesn’t concentrate on quality but would you buy the next version of software just because it had lots of stuff fixed? No of course you wouldn’t, plenty of people do! When you buy stuff you expected it to work and if features don’t work you expect it to be fixed free of charge in every industry other than software.

Well in business you can’t patch release a product after it’s gone out the door. It’s only software where this can happen with ease and so we have got lazy and complacent about it. And now software is written to work in a browser under technologies like AJAX the risk is that software can be released even earlier in development cycle because changes and fixes can be delivered constantly. One day a feature doesn’t work the next it does and you haven’t had to do anything other than refresh your browser.

Well it really isn’t good enough still!

When features are offered they must work and work well on release day! OK so companies get stick for not releasing software when they said they would but it’s still nothing to the amount it get when it doesn’t work, but we have got bored of hearing it, it’s become the norm.
The project triangle three points are time, scope and cost and projects are often a balancing act of all three. Well a celebrated Project Manager at Microsoft once told me that, “Pick two because you will never get all three” and he is right, often projects important aspects are time and cost so scope suffers but then what’s the point in delivering half the product you promised but it’s on time and to budget?

The reality of the situation is that things have to be delivered and in other industries the thing that suffers is Time, for me that is life, I get and expect that to happen, but I don’t want to see half a bridge or an unfinished washing-machine? But be honest, is someone going to die if the next version of a piece of software is late? No, they will certainly be more stressed out if it doesn’t work to plan. That’s just killing me softly then.

Anyway, this is all well and good if the software was great, but most of the time it’s a ‘Dancing Bear’, which is another problem we have known about for some time and haven’t really tackled.

So why aren’t these things fixed? Well you can’t say the old chestnuts of ‘priorities’, ‘too hard’, and ’justification’. I think the two main reasons are infact caring and courage! You have to care to want to fix something and you have to be brave to execute change. But here’s the irony, we all want new innovation and this is what drives our business and the IT industry forward, well aren’t caring, courage and inspiration the three main things that create and implement innovation? Funny, how we only really play lip-service to them, can you imagine what would happen in the world if we really didn’t?

Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 3:04 PM Main | Back to top

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