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Choosing the best while you’ve many good options!

While designing a solution, sometimes it’s difficult to decide which design is better when you’ve various options to fulfill a business requirement. Both options apparently look similar but obviously one of them is better than the other. So how can you decide between the two? Maybe we can look at a scenario and see what would be the best decision…

Scenario

You’ve to build a qualification catalog where you’ve two languages English & Arabic and you’ve to maintain the four facets i.e. Listening, Speaking, Writing & Reading, all with certain rating say 1-6. You can design the catalog in two different ways either to

  1. Create English and Arabic as Qualification Groups and Create the four dimensions as Qualifications or
  2. Create four dimensions as Qualification Groups and the two languages as Qualifications.

 

Where’s / What’s the difference?

Apparently its (2 X 4) or (4 X 2) scenario and the result looks same i.e. 8, mathematically speaking 🙂 But wait it’s not an Arithmetic question, it has much to do with HR Administration who’re maintaining the employees’ profiles.

Let’s look at the catalog first how it looks like, maybe we could find the difference between two approaches! 

2 X 4

4 X 2

Well, I see the first option (2 X 4) better, though the second option isn’t bad either. Anyways the question is ‘how to find-out the real difference?’ The answer is simple, try to maintain the qualification in employee’s profile and you’ll see the 1st option is easy to maintain. Since ‘seeing is believing’, look at the screenshots below from Qualification Profile. 

Option 1 

Option 2 

The option 1 which is to maintain different dimensions of a language is more easier than maintaining the language from each dimension as shown in option 2; this seems obvious. What do you think?

The Conclusion

To decide between various solutions and choosing the best, the formula is simple; we just have to put ourselves in end-user shoes. By doing so we could clearly see the best among ‘all ok’ solutions. 

Do you think differently? You’re welcome to comment!

 

Note: The qualification catalog is maintained in Transaction OOQA while the employee’s profile in transaction PPPM. 

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4 Comments

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  1. Michelle Crapo
    I would say the key is involving the end user as often as possible in all decision making processing including deciding the ‘best’ design.  Unless your choices are purely technical.  (Use objects or use a function modules. That would be a time where they don’t care.)

    In your example:
    1. Create English and Arabic as Qualification Groups and Create the four dimensions as Qualifications or
    2. Create four dimensions as Qualification Groups and the two languages as Qualifications.

    The answer is simple, try to maintain the qualification in employee’s profile and you’ll see the 1st option is easy to maintain. Since ‘seeing is believing’, look at the screenshots below from Qualification Profile.

    And so bring the users in – show them the difference, and let them decide.  You would be surprised what they will come up with.  At least I always am.

    Lots and lots of meetings.  Lots of stop points, to make sure you have the correct design and are on the right path, complete with examples.  I’ve found that is the ‘best’ way to get a good design.

    And then even the best plans, have to be abandoned due to changing requirements.  BUT it’s always nice to start in the right direction, complete with change management. The more they are involved the better the product!

    Michelle

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    1. Faisal Iqbal Post author
      Yes, its true people differ in their thoughts and in case of presenting a solution to an end-user we may get different feedback than our understanding. In this case, I think a consultant has to decide the best among various solutions by himself, while looking at solution rationally from end-user’s perspective.
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      1. Michelle Crapo
        And so the consultants opinion should weigh more than an internal technical resource.  Really?

        They will design something the end user doesn’t want, and will not use.  Again – hmmmmmm…  Then will they ever get hired back into that company again?

        OK – I’ll agree to disagree. 

        Suggest, support suggestions with facts, and then back off when needed.  My thoughts.  And the point where I agree to disagree.

        But – I would love to hear some other thoughts on the subject?  Consultants?  End customers?  Someone else is reading this – I’m sure of it.

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        1. Faisal Iqbal Post author
          Maybe I need to elaborate my point further 🙂

          The scenario is different; you’ve 2 solutions both of which meet the customer requirements. Ultimately you’ve to settle on one design just as in piece of land you could have more than one map but ultimately will have one home.

          Just as you present different maps to customer and explain him the benefits of a particular design (which in your opinion is best), most probably he’ll consider the additional benefits trusting you as an experienced architect.

          Similarly when you’ve different designs to meet a particular requirement, you’ve to choose one! Yes, you’ve to present it to end-user and have to tell him the ‘best-one’ as well in your opinion. Its correct it’ll be an internal resource who would choose among various designs, however, at times when you’ve many opinions & you’re short of time (deadlines / any other reason), you’ve to decide a design which you think is ‘best’ and most fit the customer requirement.

          Hey, you agreed to disagree? 🙂 well, let’s get some other thoughts as well. Its good to know varied opinions!

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