Sunday, September 20, 2015

Guiding Principles 10: Reuse

When possible, use existing processes and tools before creating or buying new ones.

A while ago I posted against the reflex reliance on ‘best practice’ to advance a project. Best practice in an oil drilling project might not be best practice in building a foundry or a robotic assembly line...or it might!

In projects the domain and context of the project is all important under the guiding judgement of the project team. So it depends on what type of project.

However, that said, the idea that does the rounds in pop management circles is to ‘fail often and fail early’. That might be fine if a minor process inefficiency that is easily corrected is the result, or in a paperwork activity that entails more hours than it should. It is not OK, as Glen Alleman points out, if you are putting a Rover on Mars, ‘cause there is no second shot. It is a right first time game.

So a project team finds, or knows, what works best. Innovate for sure, but do so against the backdrop of project needs and circumstances. Innovate to improve, to fine tune a working process, but don’t blue sky when the risk is project value that you know will be produced by known techniques.

Useful post by Glen on this.

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