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Mr. Lott has been involved in over 70 software development projects in a career that spans 30 years. He has worked in the capacity of internet strategist, software architect, project leader, DBA, programmer. Since 1993 he has been focused on data warehousing and the associated e-business architectures that make the right data available to the right people to support their business decision-making. Steven is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 139 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Creating Complexity Where None Existed

06.30.2010
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I read a 482-word treatise that amounted to these four words "sales and delivery disagree". A more useful summary is "Sales and Delivery have different views of the order".

It started out calling the standard sales-delivery differences a "Conflict" requiring "Resolution". The description was so hopelessly enmeshed in the conflict that it code-named sales and delivery as "Flintstones" and "Rubbles" as if they might see their names in the email and object. [Or -- what's more likely the case -- the author refused to see the forest for the drama among the trees.]

What?

Sales and delivery are in perpetual conflict and there is no "resolution" possible. I assume this "resolution" comes from living in a fantasy world where order-to-fulfillment and fulfillment-to-invoice processes somehow are able to agree at each step and the invoice always matches the order in every particular.

If this were actually true, either sales or delivery would be redundant and could be eliminated from the organization.

Fantastic Software

I'm guessing that someone fantasized about an order-to-invoice process and wrote software that didn't reflect any of the actual issues that occur when trying to deliver services. Now, of course, reality doesn't match the fantasy software and someone wants a "solution".

Part of finding that solution appears to be an effort to document (482 words!) this "drama" and "conflict" between sales and delivery.

Here's what I observed.

  1. Take a standard process of perfectly typical complexity and fantasize about it, writing completely useless software.
  2. Document the process as though it's a titanic struggle between two evil empires of vast and malicious sociopaths with innocent little IT stuck in the middle as these worlds collide. Assign code-name to sales and delivery to make the conflict seem larger and more important than it is.
  3. Start layering in yet more complexity regarding "conflict resolution algorithm" and other buzzwords that aren't part of the problem.
  4. Start researching these peripheral issues.

That makes a standard business process into something so complex that one could spend years doing nothing useful. A make-work project of epic proportions.
Published at DZone with permission of Steven Lott, author and DZone MVB.

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