I’ve never seen “solution y” successfully implemented…

Go to the mirror...

Go to the mirror...

There are some assertions — or maybe I should say incantations — about process or solution failures that never cease to puzzle me. One of my favorites is:

In my “x” years of experience, I’ve never seen “solution y” successfully implemented…

I’ve heard this about TQM, activity-based costing, Six Sigma, SAP, Oracle, Java, etc., and ad nauseum. No matter how successful or tested the approach, the person who invokes this formula believes that his/her “say-so” settles the matter.

Now I wonder: do those who use such rhetoric ever consider what they’re really communicating? Because I know what I’m thinking: “Hmm…solution ‘y’ doesn’t seem to work when person ‘z’ is around.”

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4 Responses

  1. Paul,
    My experience goes like this. “We tried Earned Value and it didn’t work.” “We tried Program Management Officies and they don’t add value.” We had a requirements management tool and it was a waster of time.” yada yada yada.
    When the lights were turned on through questions, in these three cases the speakers were incompetent in the application of the solution, had never actually tried to make things work and were in general terms unqualified to be responsible for making the process work in the first place.
    Garbage in Garbage Out.

  2. Of course “haven’t tried, won’t tried, it won’t work” approach is simply stupid. However when denying the approach one should be aware to avoid a trap of having the best answer for every problem which is even more frequent.

    How many times have you heard “did it so it’ll work for you no matter what your problem is” approach? The distance between rejecting to do things you don’t believe in and forcing others to do things you believe in is pretty short.

  3. Pawel, yeah…that approach is often just as silly. Great point.

  4. […] I’ve never seen “solution y” successfully implemented… […]

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