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Our disjointed human world

Yes, there is a customer out there and you need to take into consideration his view. But don't discount that view at the expense of a technology view. The reverse is also true where an exclusive view is taken from the technology, discounting the human component. What is required is a balance. It is not as easy as asking the customer or business what they want and blindly executing on that objective. Invariably, the technology will fail and even if it doesn't the second pitfall is that the goalposts will change.
Client's and customer's perceive new processes even if they are more effective and provide added value in a negative fashion. That is because of the underlying lesson in the "Monkey banana experiment." Read about it here.
Humans, like monkeys, do things like they use to do it (and for that reason only.) Habit is the biggest comfort zone and change is automatically resisted. No amount of propaganda about a better way changes the view. To illustrate my point, I'll provide a few examples:
  1. Some countries drive on the left hand side of the road and others on the right hand side of the road. Why not all agree to the same side of the road?
  2. Some countries have imperial measurements still in existence while others are purely metric. The name says it all, "imperial!" It should have died with Queen Victoria but it stays around because of habit.
  3. Banning the import of Cuban cigars? Why?
  4. The English language. There is British English and American English and each has separate dictionaries. Who cares how you spell colour/color or centre/center?
  5. Ditto keyboards!
  6. Video and DVD formats?
  7. Pence and cents?
  8. Electrical connectors and 115V vs 220V?
and so on...

The only reason the above disparities exist is human habit where once someone has become use to something they will not change. In IT a new process is ridiculed and resisted, not because it doesn't add value or isn't effective and efficient, but because it wasn't done like that yesterday.

I don't really have a solution to this problem. Do you?


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