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The dangers of indecision

Software development (like most business processes) is dependent on decision making. If people are unable to make decisions when they work with programmers, the process cannot move forward and the result software will not be built.

This seems obvious, but sometimes people forget this. They get frustrated when the project is behind schedule, forgetting that the software developer cannot always proceed until decisions are made. Otherwise, if they guess incorrectly, they invite the "opportunity" to re-write the code.

Something I try to do is anticipate the decisions that will need to be made. That way, if I can get a customer thinking about a particular choice in advance of when it needs to be made, they have some time to mull it over. Also, I try to express the impact of a delay in decision making. For example, I might say "if we don't have a decision on this by Friday, it could make the project two weeks late".

Anticipating decision making bottlenecks and providing clear information about the impact of a delay in decision-making can help keep the project out of danger and the answers coming.

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