Sunday, 13 March 2011

Designing for Marv

One of the best lessons I've learned in recent years is to design for Marv. Marv is a fictional character who objects to anything he's unfamiliar with. This makes continuous improvement extremely difficult since tweaking the process or switching to a new software library will be met with resistance. One benefit of working with Marv, is that you won't be able to introduce new ideas without at least convincing him they will bring a net benefit. The bad news is that even if an idea does have a net benefit, you'll constantly be reminded of its flaws, and this can get annoying to say the least. The solution is to polish out those flaws before exposing it to Marv in the first place. Solicit help from a couple of "friendlies", trial the idea in isolation, then make it's implementation painless. Now Marv will have nothing to complain about and you'll enjoy the benefits of your idea all the more.

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