Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sherlock Holmes, project implementations and leaps of logic

In what possible way can I tie Sherlock Holmes and projects together in talking about leaps of logic?  If you are familiar with the famous detective you may associate him with deductive reasoning, which has us building on top of things we believe are true to reach a conclusion but just as often he would practice abductive reasoning that starts with an observation, to our conclusion, and then we try to explain it.  Why talk about this?  Simply put, when you have a implementation project it is easy to use either path of reason to believe that the object of your project is the cause of the problem you encounter but it is entirely possible for that not to be the case.

I will go into the technical details tomorrow about a situation we just had, but in a broad sense think about this scenario:

You install new servers, install a new version of Oracle DB, synchronize all your data, and turn it on but there is a problem.

What is the cause of your problem?  Did you say the new servers?  Did you say it was the new version of the database?  Was your guess that we had a data issue?  Would you be surprised if I told you that it was really none of the above?

It is easy to jump to conclusions when we are in the moment of a project, but we need to keep our scientific focus and prove out hypothesises with facts.

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