Sunday, June 3, 2012

Quality versus quantity, the eternal struggle

Few days ago at work I attended to an employee meeting. This kind of meeting is useful to communicate to the whole department last news on everything concerning our little world, such as new contracts, new employees, organizational changes and so on.

Besides this typical agenda, we were presented the results elaborated by some external auditors on our way of working, the state of our product, our organization and all kind of stuff meant to help us improve continuously. There were just some slides highlighting action points for us to improve our competitiveness.

Some of those results were known to many people in the department, some others suggested to improve certain inefficiencies among project management and between departments as well. I agreed on some of the points showed by that auditing. But I could not avoid hiding my disappointment when I read that after all, the product we are working on "was not that complex, being its size not so big". As this is the case of a software application, it traduces into few lines of software code. I guess the "not so big" factor must be quantified against the number of problems the software has, or the time spent on maintenance, or maybe the time to market to have new features integrated. I don't know what parameters were taken into account to assert this blasphemy.

This is just a camera
I think this judgement is quite unfair. Now it seems to me so naive to judge a product by a numeric quantifier establishing the size according to certain attributes. When talking of intellectual creations (every human creation, possibly), only dumb minds can see the final result and judge. What about creativity? And what about decision making behind it? Research and development? Architectural deployment, innovation and other invisible but not yet irrelevant processes?


Short formula, simple concept, but a whole world of competence and efforts hidden behind.
My dear auditors, go have a coffe next time.