Signs of Triviality

Opinions, mostly my own, on the importance of being and other things.
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Ask yourself two questions...

October 22, 2013

The problems we try to solve often are too complex to easily implement. What's more, sometimes you don't even know whether or not what you're proposing is actually a good idea or not; the desired end result is hard to reach and intermediate solutions need to be put in place.

We often get lost in the details of figuring out all the side-effects, of addressing all possible outcomes. We dismiss a solution because it does not immediately fix all of our problems -- we let the perfect be the enemy of the good. To avoid this dilemma, I've come to use the following intentionally simplified decision tree:

Decision Tree Diagram

Reducing the possible outcomes of your proposed solution to these two questions is surprisingly helpful. You are now approaching the problem from the point of view of the customer or user of whatever you're implementing. This works for operational and infrastructure improvements as well as for information security: if you're getting in the way (making things worse), your solution will not likely find wide adoption; if you're not helping make progress (making things better), then there's probably no point in proceeding.

This model isn't perfect, but it beats the other question we often seem to be basing our decision making process on:

"Do I feel lucky?"
Dirty Harry
Well, do ya, punk?

(Decide for yourself.)

October 22, 2013


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