J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Just Enough

Just Enough

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I happened to look over to my bookshelf and noticed that I have two books that landed together by chance:

  1. Just Enough Project Management
  2. Just Enough Software Architecture

I’m a fan of “just enough.”  One of my mentors liked to quiz me with the question: 

“How much process do you need?”

The answer was always, “just enough.”

The question, of course, then becomes, how much is “just enough?”  The answer to that is, it depends on what’s the risk? … what’s at stake?  It should be commensurate to risk.

I always liked the example we gave regarding how much to invest in performance modeling:

“The time, effort, and money you invest up front in performance modeling should be proportional to project risk. For a project with significant risk, where performance is critical, you may spend more time and energy up front developing your model. For a project where performance is less of a concern, your modeling approach might be as simple as white-boarding your performance scenarios.”

Just enough not only helps you eliminate waste, in the form of unnecessary overhead, but it frees you up to better balance your other trade-offs and priorities.