80% is often good enough

perfectionist comic

In IT and other things, I have noticed that companies don’t want perfection, 80% is often good enough.

I had a boss tell me this exact thing. He asked for a solution for a problem the company had and I asked him if he wanted a 100% solution and if the cost was an issue. He said he wanted an 80% solution and cost is an issue.

perfectionist comic
perfectionist comic

Most companies that I have worked with have the same theory. Many companies talk about automation but when it comes time to do it, they are happy if 80% of the work can be accomplished. Even companies that do DevOps often have groups that are excluded, so it’s not a pure 100% solution even if they claim it is. The problem is that every company has edge cases and unique environments, that don’t always give themselves to standard solutions.

Working as a consultant I have suggested solutions depending on a company’s desire for long-term productivity. It is surprising how many companies use outdated tools and mix their technology stack. I prefer an integrated approach and I always argue for what is standard and cloud-based if possible. Most companies have more technical debt than they are willing to admit to, and changing the culture is always a challenge. I must give credit however that some companies do change their culture when it is obvious that they can’t continue with the way they are currently operating.

I am willing to proactively change things in my life when I see it is time to change. This is not to brag, but rather my life experience and IT experience have shown me the folly of trying to hold onto a belief/thought that doesn’t work. Part of being an IT person is being willing to question assumptions and I have always been willing to do that. You also have to question your assumptions. When you question other’s beliefs, you have to have to be open to them questioning you.

See also  Learning to use your non dominate hand

Most people just want to get the problem solved and don’t care about the long-term consequences. Once you accept this about people, you can come fix their problems when they occur and it doesn’t bother you.