Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter

2009-01-13

When technology rule the development


I guess few people in the industry are uninterested in technology, gadgets and things. I guess the interest in system development in many cases derive from an early interest in the gadget Computer. Embracing new technologies, tools and versions are often good for the creative process, and for productive environment, but this must be prioritized like everything else. The costs must be calculated as well as the benefits. A software project is not about letting the developers have a nice time playing with the newest toys on the market.

This is perhaps best illustrated in the story of The Works. The Works was supposed to be the first computer animated film. Ten years after the project started, they were still not done and one of the main reasons was that the developers too often got new tools and versions and felt that they had to start all over. When the project was canceled in 1986, only a few minutes of actual film had been completed. Another reason for the project failed was that the technology was not ready for what they wanted to do. And that is also an important lesson: only build what you can complete.

But don't forget that most developers are interested in the new things and don't say no to everything. But estimate the costs and benefits and put it on the list. Also, introducing the "new stuff" can be an excellent reward for a hard working team after they've accomplished something grand.

Thanks Hexmaster of Faktoider for sharing the story (here in Swedish).

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