There is a class of responders on the forums that continue to seek simple and simple minded solutions to complex problems. Claiming the problems can be solved with simple solutions. Of course those solutions cannot be demonstrated with any credibility outside of a limited domain. Let's start with Mencken
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. - H. L. Mencken
In the project domain most of the problems start with poor estimates of cost and schedule. Hollmann starts it off http://lnkd.in/vjf4X4. Bent Flyvbjerg takes a more radical view, calling estimators liars , but I chalk that up to a language barrier.
The core problem starts with the politics of estimating. Rarely do the buyers of the project know what it should cost. So when they hear a number that is larger than their expectations, they reject the number. They signal to the sellers what they expect to pay for something. This expectation can come from poor knowledge or simply a naive understanding of the problem, or worse a public promise that simply can't be kept.
But a second problem exists. That across domains, there is the wrong headed belief that one domain has the solution to another domains problems. We need to break the loop we're stuck thinking that problems are only found in other domains and making the ill-informed suggestions that "if you just did it my way," there would be no problem. There is a fundamental issues with managing complexity and managing in the presence of uncertainty. We want it to be simple, it is not, but since it is hard, people don't want to actually work hard on the solution. Instead seeking simple and may times "simple minded" solutions - buy this tool, use my excel spread sheet, dumb down the processes.
So What Is The Solution
First is to recognize that ALL domains have similar problems. Cost and Schedule estimates have been discussed for many decades. Lots of literature leads us back to the singular source - the political will to search for the credible estimate, even if that means not starting the project. Or better yet, to start the project knowing the estimates are flawed.
One provocateur voice in our community suggests that PMs that take on project with poor estimates should be held criminally liable for the results. This of course is laughable, but it demonstrates the complete understanding of the problem and the solution.
This approach reminds me of Pauli's quote when presented with a nonsensical submission from a student.
They were worse than wrong because they could not be proven wrong. Famously, he once said o: Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch! "Not only is it not right, it's not even wrong!"
Thus is where we are now. Not much in the form of research and questioning, lots of pontificating about how the other guy is all messed up, and if you'd only do it my way, you'd have your solution. Reminds me of the current US political problems. Do it my way. Of course that doesn't work, because we have complex - wicked - problems, and there is no single way. Mencken was right, and he was right long before any of the current problems.
We may be doomed to repeat history with first recognizing the problem is us.