Chuck Norris syndrome

The Project Failures blog has an interesting post on Chuck Norris syndrome.

Chuck Norris can fix everything without changing anything

And therein lies some of the problems people are hitting on ELN projects – they think that the old way of doing things will produce, if only they do it properly.

I’d argue that the old, “Big Software Project” way never worked all that well for something as diverse as science, and it certainly doesn’t work today – there just isn’t the money around to throw about hoping it will all turn out OK.

The blog post invites customers to ask: “Are our projects repeatedly late, over-budget, or not meeting planned expectations?”. Um, time for the ELN industry to look in the mirror!

Today we have to have the guts to admit that perhaps “One size fits all” (more accurately “one size will be made to fit all, dammit!”) approach isn’t the best way to approach very complex circumstances – even the best-designed software can’t compensate for the challenges of deploying very intimate software to a wide variety of use cases.

It’s time to tell our boss that we need a series of smaller projects which are more approachable, predictable, and less risky. If you work with the right vendors (and we’d hope we were one!) the total cost will be much less, your users will be a lot happier, and you’ll end up with a more integrated system than perhaps you can buy from someone who promises you can get everything from them.

Time for the quiet heros, delivering on time and under budget. Shame that doesn’t get the same press though.

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