Wooden Barrel Theory

Have you ever seen those old-fashioned wooden barrels? I recently ordered one, Of course, my intention is not to study the theory indicated in the title, but use it as my foot SPA.

Wooden Barrel Theory - Pegasus Vertex, Inc - drilling software

Because of the way wooden barrels are made, people have derived a theory: the capacity of a barrel is determined not by the longest wooden bars, but by the shortest, as you can see illustrated below.

Wooden Barrel Theory Illustration - Minimum Piece

The theory can apply to numerous situations. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The durability of a product depends on the part that fails first. In military situations, sometimes all it takes to win a battle is to find the weakest point of the enemy and attack it. The performance of a team is severely limited by the least capable member. A fleet will only move as fast as its slowest ship. In plant or crop growth situations, increasing the amount of plentiful nutrients did not increase a plant’s growth. Only by increasing the amount of the limiting nutrient was the growth of a plant improved.

For a software product, we need to ensure the robustness of major functions. Ironically, the overall quality of a piece of software does not depend on the maximum number of fancy features, but on the minimum number of bugs or errors.

Fancy features in a software package may be eye-catching, but bugs are the killers of its usability. As we expand a computer program by adding more features, the chances of having more bugs grow at the same rate, if not a greater rate. It is up to our software development team to look at the balance of features and bugs.

We may have the best idea or architecture of a software package; however, if our implementation process creates fatal shortcomings, the success of the product will not exceed the size of the fatal mistakes.

Same rules apply to the drilling software development, including the levels of developers and qualities of programs. Needless to say, we strive to have more comprehensive programs (with minimum bugs). We also heavily invest in the usability of software by eliminating as many bugs as possible. After all, if there is just one short wooden bar on the barrel, all the other bars that are longer than the short one are actually wasted, right?

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