Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Seeking For Your Scarcest Resource

I was reading this very interesting article, which is an interview of Fred Brooks, writer of The Mythical One Man-Month. Fred Brooks has a long experience in engineering. He is also famous because of his Brooks' theory.

ou can’t accelerate a nine-month pregnancy by hiring nine pregnant women for a month. Likewise, says University of North Carolina computer scientistFred Brooks, you can’t always speed up an overdue software project by adding more programmers; beyond a certain point, doing so increases delays.

Actually, thanks to his philosophy, modern productivity has been designed. Thanks to computers, a person which knows properly how to manage its resources is able to be more efficient than any other groups of people.

But as I was reading through this article, another very interesting point stood out. The concept of scarcest resource:he critical thing about the design process is to identify your scarcest resource. Despite what you may think, that very often is not money. For example, in a NASA moon shot, money is abundant but lightness is scarce; every ounce of weight requires tons of material below. On the design of a beach vacation home, the limitation may be your ocean-front footage. You have to make sure your whole team understands what scarce resource you’re optimizing.

This is very interesting, because the scarcest resource may actually not be money in most of situation. And by rethinking what is your scarcest resource, you may find new ways to envision problems or a project. I believe actually that as a common wisdom, you should consider that money is by definition not your scarcest resource. By thinking so, you will be forced to scan through all your different resources, and range than by how important they are. Therefore you might find new approaches to your supposely lack of money.

Another very interesting thought: You can learn more from failure than success. In failure you’re forced to find out what part did not work. But in success you can believe everything you did was great, when in fact some parts may not have worked at all. Failure forces you to face reality.

I like this point because this is very true: When you succeed, you don't really take the time to analyze why you have succeeded in order to reproduce the same path. I think this is worth thinking about this point.