What prevents problems from being solved?
This is a question that I’ve pondered for a long time.
Take this one:
Asked in October of 2009, our team was finally able to put this problem to rest, and more importantly improve site performance, database scalability and application cpu levels in a significant way. It took over a year to achieve, what essentially is a 3 line change in application server code and database configuration. So my question is, why did it take this long?
In order to answer this question, I think there are three categories of answer that are possible:
1. We didn’t know how to solve it.
2. We didn’t care to solve it.
3. We didn’t know to care to solve it.
So which was it?
#1. We ended up solving the problem. We researched several alternatives and came up with a solution. This work in aggregate took about a “man week”. By definition, this couldn’t have been the cause of the delay.
#2. We did care to solve it. I was perplexed by the issue a year ago. However, I didn’t have the experience/knowledge/data to raise the profile of the problem to something that should take priority.
#3. I think this is the winner. Until Seamlessweb purchased Dynatrace (which is awesome by the way), there was no way to reliably analyse the data and make a solid prediction which could be sold the business as a valuable proposition. But it wasn’t just a tool which told us, essentially what we already knew. It was an organizational change which gave ownership of the technology platform, and in effect recognizing there was a problem to begin with. Once the business stake holders recognized that being concerned specifically with the technology platform as a whole, gave us the opportunity to sell the right solution to them at the right time.
The real value out of all this is to try and remember how we achieved this. Right now, all I remember is a lot of painful waiting. But maybe that’s the proof of the adage all good things are worth waiting for.