12. Not enough data?

Continuing our theme of Frog Software Design Principles (First Post):

Occasionally there simply isn’t enough data to get to where we need to get to.  In this case, we will take the data we have and put together a plan as big as we can that has no unfounded assumptions in it.  It may not fully meet the immediate user need – it will fall short of rather than miss the target.  In this case, we’ll put the technology out, let the users play with it, amass more data from this, and then try again.

It’s easy to presume that this is just a matter of taking a guess and seeing what happens, but it’s imperative that the criteria of “make no assumptions” is met.  It’s easy to add capability to a software system, but try changing or removing features and users, quite rightly, will get very annoyed.  Taking guesses could also create huge issues for data migration, depending on the circumstances.

Make no assumptions, and apologise to your customers for the lack of capability at the moment.  They’ll thank you later.

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