Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Systematic thoughts

A couple of months ago, I noted an observation by Scott Adams that goals are for losers and what is really needed are systems. I ran across another quote that emphasizes the same thing, only this one is thirty years old:
Corporations don't need projects, they need systems. As he [Robert Block] eloquently points out, projects are a short-lived, artificial anomaly within the organization; they are tolerated only as long as the customer -- the person or group who ultimately pays for the whole things -- has faith that all of the strange people, and all of the strange jargon, and all of the computer equipment, and all of the money will eventually lead to something he wants. If he loses faith, the project dies. Period.
Ed Yourdon, "Foreword," in Robert Block, The Politics of Projects (New York: Yourdon Press, 1983), xiv.
Do all the strange people and strange jargon actually lead to something we want?