Planning is overrated

Planning is Vastly Overrated – 37signals doesn’t do road maps, specs, projections. They have rough ideas internally but these aren’t shared externally. Even internally they’re not set in stone or written down. Think about what’s being done now and maybe what’s next. You set expectations too soon and things changed.”
Jason Fried
on here.

Them ther’s fighting words to many people in the OSS industry, but they do bear an strong element of truth too.

Jason Fried’s organisations (eg his reference to his company, 37signals) tend to develop in-house software solutions like Basecamp, which are used by a multitude of customers that are much smaller than typical CSPs, so they can afford to develop internal plans that then transpire to customer satisfaction. OSS software is a little different in that customers tend to be far fewer and more influential in shaping the future direction of a product because their solutions tend to be heavily customised.

Due to the rapid changes that always seem to be underway in CSP environments, customers tend to be dependent on their vendors’s roadmaps to support their own OSS directions. Unfortunately for them, roadmaps tend to take months to deliver the benefits that CSPs are crying out for.

This is one of the instigators for NFV (albeit more at the network level than network management, but the same applies).

I wonder if NFV will bring the flexibility and road maps, specs, projections that Jason talks about above? This really interesting part will be to observe the pros and cons that are spawned from this dynamism.

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