George Grieve
George Grieve

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« Things Are Really...........Yellow. | Main | Disaster Recovery »

October 02, 2007

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I’d like to add one further point. Many of these systems move much of the “Care and Feeding” of many of the rules, formulae and other table driven variables from IT out into the user community. And, to a very large extent, rightly so, presumably it is more efficient to have the “minimum glass deductible in Texas” increased to $500 by the folks who decided to do that rather than have the request passed on to IT with all the requisite hand off processes involved.

To George’s point however, there are not only vital and mundane tasks required in implementing a system, there are also vital and mundane tasks involved in maintaining that same system. Now that the ability to make change is in the User’s hands, Users will (or should) have to learn to do all those vital and mundane tasks themselves before they change a rule or table entry. Whereas the fact that you can do them quickly and within the user community is unquestionably a good thing, frankly, it is also a risk.

It’s probably important to remember, generally, the actual act of coding or changing a table was never the bottle-neck; it’s all the vital and mundane tasks that were done before and after the coding that took the time.

The risk is that in the Irrational Exuberance of being able to move the Care and Feeding of the rules and tables etc to the users, many hard won IT skills could be bypassed with potentially unpleasant results. One fears that the cry of “oh, why test it, it’s only a one line change” will once again ring through the halls. And if you think spaghetti code is tough to unravel, wait until you see spaghetti rules.

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