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Thursday, June 20, 2013

The five stages of engineering

I need ...,
you can't ..., do you really have to ...?
I can't believe that ...,
This really sucks, I don't know why we ever ...
Couldn't we just ...,
What if we ...,
Actually ... , no, but ...,
What would happen if ...,
Yeah, now if we ...,
oh shoot, that won't work ...,
but wait, what if we ...,
yeah ....,
yeah ...,
OK, let's look at it again ...,
Did we get it?
Yeah.
Yeah, and now we can do ... too.

Sound familiar?  There is a pattern here

Some one gives you a integration problem.

  • First we try to avoid it.
  • Then we get angry.
  • Then we negotiate (and succeed)
  • Finally we get excited.
  • And then we accept the requirement.

There's an alternative pathway:




  • First we try to avoid it.
  • Then we get angry.
  • Then we negotiate (and fail)
  • We get depressed.
  • And we accept that it cannot be solved.
The alternative pathway is exactly the five stages of grief, and is what we'd like to avoid.  The first pathway is what I'm now calling the five stages of engineering.  The simple difference between successful engineering and engineering that comes to grief is how well you execute the 3rd stage.  And more often that not, the key to success in the third stage is simply in how much time and effort you are willing to spend in the third stage before getting to success.  After all, admitting to failure is easy.

   Keith


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