I’ll start out by saying I’m an incrementalist. It’s at the heart of my simple-loving nature. Michael Lopp writes about the two personalities for problem solving.
…are realists. They have a pretty good idea of what is achievable given a problem to solve, a product to ship.”
If you have a problem today, find the easiest (but hopefully still elegant) fix. Avoid over-engineering the solution. Step by step, you’ll get to something good without making yourself crazy aiming for perfection.
Or, so says the incrementalist.
…are dreamers. They have a very good idea of how to solve a given problem and that answer is SOLVE IT RIGHT.”
Take that same problem today, and realize that if you don’t solve every aspect of it, you’ll be fixing it over and over again. The Completionist wants to fix it once.
As an Incrementalist, I probably will be frustrated with the time-wasting Completionists most of the time. But as Lopp identifies, we need both personalities, and the two aren’t that far off in their intentions.
“The co-worker identified (correctly) the original problem. Why in the world don’t they see the value of my solution? The reason is, this is a Incrementalist doing battle with a Completionist. This isn’t the battle of wrong versus right, it’s the battle of right versus right. Bizarre.”
Read the whole essay to find out more. Which type are you?
via Joel Spolsky