Courtesy of Matt from London
How many time have you heard this sentence “yes we did that small stuff but don’t worry: nothing changed”?
It can be a tiny technical modification to a system, it can be a small organizational change, it can be something that you said to your team, it can be a change in a signature of your email … it doesn’t matter.
When it’s about complex systems any modification no matter its size, no matter where you make it, no matter when you make it, can have an unpredictable impact on any part of the system: that’s basically the definition of complex system.
And I tell you a secret: a group of people that have a relationship IS a complex system (family, office), IT stuff IS a complex system, SW IS a complex system, YOU are a complex system.
So please don’t tell me that nothing changed when you changed something!!!
And remember that this effect has also its good side:
No situation is ever hopeless. Because whatever the situation may be, the moment you start to take action, you change it (Ralph Marsdon)
p.s. By the way, note that complexity is often overrated especially in SW dev 🙂