It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.
— Albert Einstein, German Scientist, (1879 – 1955)

What I've Learned Working with Technology

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Technology by itself is not the solution, but the means to implement the solution, and the success or failure of technological efforts is most often determined by human factors.

Meaningful Solutions are Holistic

The best solutions are those that consider all factors in the equation; hardware, software, users and context over time. If you canít see the full picture, then you wonít see the best solution.

Business Systems are Solidifications of Business Processes

Donít get so focused on the system that you lose sight of the process it exists to support Ė one is a construct, the other is reality.

Diagrams are Better Than Documents

If you want to communicate an idea the best way is (almost) always in pictures. This is because diagrams can show what is present, what is missing, and the relationships between them.

Pilots are Better than Diagrams

Show users a diagram and they will give you feedback on why it wonít work. Show them a working demo and they will give you feedback on how to make it better.

Simplicity is Best

When defining a technological solution, the best approach is generally the simplest one; it will be quicker and easier to implement, break less often, and prove easier to maintain and evolve.

Backlogs are not Roadmaps

A Backlog is a collection of requests Ė only the presence of a clearly identified Point A and Point B turn it into a Roadmap. Donít look to your requests to tell you where youíre supposed to be going Ė define it.

Customization Should Be the Last Resort

Many stakeholders feel that the more highly-customized a solution is the better, but this most often leads to wasted time and money. Only customize when there is no better option.

Donít Build it if it Already Exists

Before you go and build something, make sure it does not already exist elsewhere. If it does, then the builder has probably made all your mistakes already, thus saving you a lot of time and money.

It's Never Really 'Done'

Though you may find the perfect solution for the moment, you will never find the perfect solution forever. Changes around you will make today's perfect solution obsolete over time.

Sometimes You Have to Kill Your Children

We put our heart and soul into our systems, but eventually those systems consume more than they produce and must be terminated. They might feel like children, but theyíre not.