The Curse of Analysis Paralysis
When it comes to software projects, most of the ones that I have been a part of could have benefited from more design, not less. Unless the customer actually asks for some documentation, or a process requires it, design and documentation get talked about as something important but get pushed out because of competing priorities and lack of time. We tend to make it up as we go, answer questions as they come, and hope it all works out.
Which is part of the reason why it is so comical that we cannot figure out which place to order pizza from, should we desire to order in!
Analysis Paralysis happens for a multitude of reasons, but I find that it is most often due to apathy. We know we want pizza, but we don’t really care what pizza it is. There is no one pizza place that sticks out in our minds with features that benefit one thing over another, so we run really close to not getting pizza, or someone suggests that we have Arby’s instead.
Once you embark on this path, you find that you may actually never get anything done. The software project doesn’t get started, the pizza doesn’t get ordered, and no one can decide where to go on summer vacation. The truth is, many times we’d benefit from the exact solution that I outlined above– if we just started action and made it work out.
A few years back, I was looking at rentals in Florida in the middle of winter and decided it would be nice to spend a week down there. I had the time off, and we had some money saved, so I came home and announced that we needed to pack up because we were going to drive to Florida the next day. So we rushed around digging out summer clothes, hopped in the vehicle, and headed south– no hotel booked, no tickets to attractions, or anything.
Yes, this trip cost more than if we had planned it– we would have found better deals for the park tickets, we would have found a place to stay where the two rooms would have been together… and we probably never would have taken the trip because of Analysis Paralysis.
I encourage you to examine your lives. If you find that there are familiar patterns where you can’t make a decision, have someone be a decision-maker and just see how it plays out. I mean, if the things you’re choosing between are that close, someone just needs to make a decision and be done with it. Roll with that which comes next instead of worrying about whether you made the right choice. The pizza will still taste good.