The moving goalpost of 'Effective'


Last week, I and a colleague discussed the idea of ‘durable software’. I pointed out that there is a trick to creating durable effective software. The goalpost of ‘effective’ moves over time. So, the trick to keeping software solutions effective is to learn over time!

Consider the agile manifesto. The founders pointed out that they were learning better ways to deliver software. We start many software projects with the assumption that we ‘know’ the solution. But durable software products emerge from discovering the solution to an observed challenge. This is a matter of mindset. Are we more committed to creating the effect we desire? Or we are more committed to implementing our design?

The difference is often difficult to see. If our solution is the right one, then the desired effect should logically follow. If, and Should. How much are we betting on that “If”?