Chapter 4Promoting Value Through Simplicity




Everything should be made as simple as possible,but not simpler.

Albert Einstein


The stage is now set for connecting the concepts of value, described in Chapter 3, with the ideas of simplicity introduced in section 1.2. As a matter of fact, there is no single obvious way to make this connection and we shall therefore have to justify our approach. One thing to be aware of is that the concepts of value and those of simplicity introduced so far are not truly defined on the same conceptual level. On the one hand, we have ideas of values, which were defined specifically in the context of IT: Use Value, Sustainable Value, and Strategic Value. On the other hand, we have concepts of simplicity, which were defined at a much more general level: Reduction, Hiding, Organization, Learning, Time Saving, and Trust.

Part of the difficulty in linking value and simplicity lies in this discrepancy: we have concepts of value specific to IT while we have general and fundamental concepts of simplicity and complexity.

The most straightforward path would be to identify each concept of value from Chapter 3 as a function of one or more simplicity or complexity parameters. Actually, this is what we did, implicitly, in Chapter 3 when we related the Use Value and the Sustainability Value with some fundamental concepts of simplicity. Although this approach looks quite appealing, it appears too naive and does not immediately lend itself to a pragmatic framework ...

Get Managing Complexity of Information Systems: The Value of Simplicity now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.