Ben J. Christensen

Detail Oriented

I’m working on a fairly significant document that covers the requirements and high-level architecture for a new system based on SOA principles to replace an aging application.

The document is approaching 150 pages and beginning to approach something that properly describes the vision and needs so that business and technical folks can have a solid understanding of scope, requirements, priorities and how it will work (plus general direction on how it will be built).

It takes a lot of effort and time to sit down and not only read, but understand the scope of this system. It’s not a simple thing. As much as we try to keep it conceptually simple, there’s a lot going on and a lot of details.

In a few weeks I’m to sit down with a partner team to review and collaborate. My plan was to send over the detailed document for review so we could have a productive meeting to truly discuss missing requirements, strategy, execution planning etc.

However, I’ve been told they don’t “want” to read the detailed version — just a summary — bullet points with perhaps 10-15 pages.

These are senior developers and architects. Not high level business folks.

Attention to detail is in my opinion an absolute requirement for technical people. Decision making without details is dangerous and fairly useless.

My opinion is not high for people who do not care or have the attention span to be detail oriented.

An executive who’s not directly involved in the operations of something – a summary makes sense.

A team or person who is supposed to directly impact the design and delivery of something and its ongoing operations – if the details aren’t part of their focus, they don’t deserve to be involved.

If they don’t have the time to be detail oriented, then either they shouldn’t be working on the project, their time needs to be re-prioritized, or the project isn’t worth doing.

Filed under: Architecture, Management & Leadership, Skills

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