The Cost of Complexity

published on July 12, 2014 in bussiness

I have been trying to explain the problem of complexity in product development for years. With very little success. The post I am sharing with you all might do it much better then I did it so far.

The essence of the problem

In a fairly recent post, Kris Gale, VP Engineering at Yammer, talks about “how features can create complexity cost in an engineering organization.”

“Among the most dangerously unconsidered costs is what I’ve been calling complexity cost. Complexity cost is the debt you accrue by complicating features or technology in order to solve problems. An application that does twenty things is more difficult to refactor than an application that does one thing, so changes to its code will take longer.”

The point is that the complexity you introduce by trying to solve a problem will probably cost you a lot more than you think because it makes maitainability very difficult and refactoring very time consuming. Both of these make all you future development slow which in the end will hurt your bussiness.

Imagine this issue piling up unnecessary complexity in your code over a number of years and that will certainly scare you.

If you want to read the full post you may check it out here: The One Cost Engineers and Product Managers Don’t Consider