Want something fixed? Give it to someone who doesn’t want the job

I recently had a great experience with simplifying IT processes. Due to recent org changes, a home grown product (that was a ton of spaghetti code) got turned over to a new team. The thing was, the new team’s job wasn’t a support role and they didn’t particularly relish coding. Over time, the organization had become dependent on the product, although people suspected it was partially because they didn’t know any better. There were off the shelf tools which could do the same job.

Well, it turns out if you want to get rid of some job, the best people to give it to might be the people who don’t want the job in the first place. If you’re content building and maintaining a bunch of spaghetti code, and I then give to you an additional product, you’re likely to keep maintaining that one too. But, if you don’t particularly like coding, you are going to try and avoid doing it. One of the best ways to avoid doing something is to get rid of it.

In fact, this is exactly what happened. The team, who didn’t desire to fix everyone’s problems figured out how to replace the home grown product in just a few months. For years the organization had been told that it couldn’t be replaced. The difference? The old team was content to maintain it, perhaps even proud. The new team had nothing invested in it and didn’t want to.

“I don’t think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention . . . arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble.”
― Agatha Christie, An Autobiography

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