Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Strategy and Tactics

In a software company strategy provides a framework for work to happen. This is critical because "work happens" in software companies. New opportunities, features, bug fixes, partner integrations and opportunities, customer customizations, technology changes, new operating systems, all make work happen.

If you don't have a strategic framework within which to make decisions to prioritize or more importantly even consider engaging in work you will run into problems.

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
Sun Tzu (Chinese General and Author, b.500 BC)

Without strategy at best you will make the right decision for the wrong reasons, at worse you will make the wrong decisions for the wrong reasons. The problem with both these results is that the decisions won't contribute to long term growth, they also won't add to the historical record of decisions upon which you can reflect to help make future decisions. They are as Sun Tzu puts it "the noise before defeat". Or as Thomas Carlyle said "Nothing is more terrible than activity without insight".

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