Technology is like bamboo.
It expands slowly but surely—like the Chinese bamboo growing at 0.00003 km/h can gain a meter per day.
Technology has the same tendency, until it is too late.
Small decisions end up creating systems that are hard to evolve and maintain, making us slaves constrained by technology choices.
I experienced that more technology does not rhyme with opportunity—and it usually becomes more problems.
This article shares the reasons for “More Technology, More Problems” impacting your Quality Engineering: Quality at Speed with minimal Complexity.
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More technology shift the focus on value
Advertising has an impressive influencing power: the more attention we have on a message, the more we will think, like and probably act about it.
The same effect happens by being surrounded with technology.
More technology shifts teams attention from business value to technology-driven matters, creating negative siloed optimizations.
“If your team focuses on the How, they will forget the Why and the What”.Antoine Craske, More Technology, More Problems.
In the end, your business is losing opportunities to improve its value proposition while people are self-centered on implementation details.
Go back to the initial need asking “What minimal technology could fulfill that need today and tomorrow?”. Your existing stack is probably good-enough.
Maintains the focus of the team is eased with less technology avoiding:
- Quality to decrease with an attention shift from business to technology;
- Speed decreases with teams optimizing the “how” instead of the “what”;
- Complexity accumulates diminishing the overall value creation.
More technology is not necessary an opportunity
Technology solutions are full of promises, only here to help you succeed at evolving the user experience and business performance.
But technology vendors are not playing the same game as yours.
Their game is to sell the technology they have at the moment, to people they can sufficiently influence to use through a currency exchange.
In this game, the technology may be immature, not solving your problem, or not fulfilling your requirements.
Apart from product considerations, your organization can lack the capabilities, resources and focus to succeed.
Remember that you don’t get news from a broker once you pay his commission.
Carefully assess the potential opportunity of a technology to avoid these effects:
- Quality without improvements as the technology is not deployed or usable;
- Speed impacted negatively as all the time passed was lost for your velocity;
- Complexity increases with technology deployed requiring support.
More technology increases entropy
You see entropy when you hear “It’s better to start from scratch”. That’s a sign a system has accumulated too much complexity to evolve.
The garage of most families is a good example of the natural tendency of a system to become more complex.
The counter-force in digitalization is to contain the use of technology.
Less technology enables to increase system availability, simplicity and maintainability with a lighter ecosystem.
One important choice for entropy is to say no early—once installed, a technology is hard to remove, requiring additional efforts.
Contain your system entropy to avoid these issues:
- Quality reducing with less time and ease to deliver valuable changes;
- Speed exponentially slowing down due to accumulated layers of technology;
- Complexity rises to a level when your only option is to start from scratch.
More technology comes with recurring taxes
It can be frustrating to buy a house: you pay taxes to different parts in the first place, for on-going maintenance, and each year to confirm “it’s yours”.
Technology has the same problem.
You need to perform the setup, integration and organize to provide on-going support. The advent of managed services helps, but still, there is no magic.
And it’s not only about technology taxes—your organization requires to be trained, informed and allocate time on a regular basis.
You can use the Quality Engineering Framework MAMOS to identify them through Methods, Architecture, Management, Organization & Skills.
Step back from a technology choice to identify the different type of taxes, avoiding:
- Quality reducing in value with on-going impacts and costs of technology;
- Speed impacted for each iterations with either setup, integration or support;
- Complexity increases with more information and flows to manage.
More technology creates more dependency
We all want to be in control of our life, but a lot of people are now slave of specific technologies, like their phones with social medias.
Technology always comes with trade-offs such as vendor-lock, availability risks, security, etc.
You can also become a slave of technology missing to identify the dependencies a specific choice can create.
Some solutions have limited resources on the market, a high-complexity requires constant care, or simplify bad operations.
The result is the same: you suffer from a technology choice on an on-going basis, instead of leveraging it to create value.
Dependency on a technology negatively impacts your Quality Engineering with:
- Quality lowered with less value delivered and more captured by vendors;
- Speed slowing down each time dependency needs your attention and effort;
- Complexity grows with more actors, back-and-forth and more problems.
More technology is not your first priority
This focus on problems shifted us from the important priority: continuously deliver value to our users.
More technology is not the goal in Quality Engineering—maintaining Quality at Speed with minimal Complexity is.
This is a challenge for digital businesses depending on technology.
You can align technology choices that will improve your business by:
- Start by Building A Tech Radar For Quality at Speed;
- Ask the 21 Questions for Minimum Valuable Technology;
- Act in The Quality Engineering Way To Bulletproof Decisions.
You only need more Quality Engineering.