Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Occam's Razor

I'm reading the book Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar. As I was reading last night, I came across a reference to Occam's Razor. I liked their interpretation; "Theories should not be any more complex than necessary." Ockham was a 14th century Franciscan Friar and logician, razor refers to shaving away unnecessary assumptions.

I was putting some slides together this week for a workshop I'm conducting next week on Agile. One slide is an overview of Extreme Programming (XP). I'm not going to claim to be an expert on XP, but I have run projects following principles of XP. One of those principles is to use as simple of a design as you can and don't design for features you may not ever develop.

Are you making things more complicated than you need to? I was talking with one of my clients today on keeping things simple...get a basic release of the software completed and in the hands of your users and once they have a chance to use it, they'll have a much better idea of what else they need. Don't try to deliver everything at once. Or as my Dad used to say - KISS - keep it simple stupid!

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