Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The price of common sense

In "Agile Software Development with Scrum", Ken Schwaber stated that:
"Scrum demands the liberal application of common sense".
I think this applies to any agile methodology: common sense is a driving force for any practice that relies on empirical management and self-organizing teams.
Now, I have just read "Unsystematic Engineering", an IEEE Spectrum article where Robert W. Lucky dares saying out loud what everybody knows:
"(...) systems engineering is often based on experience and common sense, and we know where common sense fits in the hierarchy of things that justify a high salary."
Okay, we all work for the beauty and love of our craftsmanship and not for the bottom line, but is not this pattern of under-valuing the qualities we have learnt to be the right ones, something that gets harder and harder to accept?
So, what should be the true price of common sense? Could not it be evaluated by measuring the cost of projects that failed because of a lack of it?


alex said...

Observation 1: common sense is not as common as its name would have us believe.

Observation 2: particularly true in the world of business and especially where IT endeavors are involved.

Law of scarcity (Economics): Scarce goods or services that are in high demand see their prices increase until quantity supplied equals quantity demanded.

The logical conclusion would be that common sense is priceless (although not necessarily payale with a famous credit card). Unfortunately, the process by which the economy forms prices lacks, well, common sense :-)

David Dossot said...

Alex, thanks for the observations.

I wonder if common sense could be like a muscle that needs to be exercized in order to become stronger?

Hey... am I not becoming a questionning agent?