This almost deadly sin manifests itself in two ways:
- A tool or a methodology that has been sucessful in one context gets generalized and becomes applied to other contexts, where it ill fits.
- A generic platform or framework is created to solve all sorts of needs, while ad hoc solutions would have been more straight to the point.
Of course, there is value in re-use and generic tools. The point of the matter is that it is always worth considering the relevance of a generic tool or methodology everytime you intend to use it. This sounds like an obvious statement but experience shows that generalized solutions are as attractive and noxious as sirens.
Hence the rope and the mast.