Seeking Elegant Solutions

During my time in IT, I have discovered layer upon layer of complexity. The link below takes you to a pdf presentation prepared by Matthew May in 2006. This presentation defines an elegant solution as, “one in which the optimal outcome is achieved with the minimal expenditure of effort and expense”. While that’s a little wordy for my tastes, I certainly get the picutre that doing more with less is elegant.

My definition of an elegant solution is a little different. I tend to ask things like, “In hindsight, does the solution to this problem seem like common sense?” or, “Is it as simple to use as Google?” In IT, we tend to overcomplicate things. Many times we offer solutions that customers neither want nor need. In our attempts to do better IT work, we can push away from elegance and into chaotic mediocrity.

 I enjoyed this presentation and I recommend it to anyone looking for ways to help their organizations become more successful in 2011.


Elegant Solutions: Breakthrough Thinking the Toyota Way
By Matthew E. May Published Dec. 5, 2006 12:10 a.m.

One million ideas a year. A culture of innovation. An intrinsic belief that good enough never is. Matthew May’s manifesto shows you how Toyota’s principles and practices will help you engage your creative spirit and bring elegant solutions to your work and life.

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