The 90 percent solution: how to finish projects on time for less money
In my life, I have worked on a lot of software projects. There are a couple of dozen boxes on my shelves containing games and apps that I’ve worked on. And now there’s TurbineHQ.com.
Based on that experience, I can tell you that there is a lot of truth in the old programmer saying: ‘the first 90 percent of a project takes 90 percent of the time but the last ten percent of the work takes the other 90 percent of the time.’
How many business decisions become more complicated and expensive because people want the perfect 100 percent solution?
A great example is the all-singing, all-dancing, fully-automated, totally-integrated business application. But customised software costs a king’s ransom. It’s not just the development cost: perfect takes longer and demands more time and attention.
That’s okay if you’re writing software for nuclear power stations or autopilots. But most business projects don’t need to be failsafe or gold-plated.
The alternative is an off-the-shelf system that does most of what you want – the 90 percent solution – but at a much lower price. Find ways around the missing ten percent and move on to the next project.
This is what we’re trying to do with Turbine. It’s an affordable off-the-shelf way to do routine admin chores that works well for the majority of businesses.
My question for you is: are you letting ‘perfect’ get in the way of ‘good enough’? Stop wasting time and money seeking the perfect solution and upgrade to almost-perfect.
Matthew Stibbe on March 7, 2013