I enjoy the Change This Manifestos and this one is a really good one. Here are a few excerpts from “Elegant Solutions – Breakthrough thinking the Toyota Way” by Matthew E. May. Thanks to Guy Kawasaki for the pointer.
“An elegant solution is one in which the optimal outcome is achieved with the minimal expenditure of effort and expense.”
A big lesson – “Avoid the Temptations
- Swinging for fences. This is the “homerun or bust” trap, which invariably destroys a strong batting average over time. It carries with it huge risk, usually accompanied by high cost.
- Getting too clever. This is the “bells and whistles” trap, which can easily get out of control in an effort to outdo competitors. It carries with it the danger of complexity and customer alienation.
- Solving problems frivolously. This is the “brainstorm” trap, which is misguided creativity far afield from company direction. It’s a symptom of poorly defined work, and fraught with waste. There’s a reason we call it an organization.
- “Keep it Lean. Complexity kills—scale it back, make it simple, and let it flow. More is often just more. Unless it’s more simple, accessible, timely and efficient, which really means it’s less complicated and complex. When it comes to solutions, size and sprawl matter. Be-all, end-all, feature-rich solutions almost always miss the mark. Because they’re over-scoped and too complex. They’re usually proof that we lack real insight into our customer’s desires. Complexity destroys value, which is what matters most to the customer. The most elegant solutions always seem blazingly simple. “