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Re: OT: clearcase ...

> "JOO" == James Olin Oden <joden@lee.k12.nc.us> writes:
>   JOO> As it is though the current company I am working with has
>   JOO> invested heavily in clearcase and so any solution would require
>   JOO> it.
>  Vladimir G. Ivanovic           http://leonora.org/~vladimir:

> Precisely. Once you start with ClearCase, you're effectively locked into
> a costly, proprietary solution[sic] forever.

Well, no.

Let me preface by saying that there's absolutely nothing wrong with
proprietary solutions - they just have to actually be of more value than
their total costs to be worthwhile.

...The "stuck with it forever" part is a key indicator of what is
appropriately viewed as "bad management." ...I'm really a techie, but as
Chief Scientist, I have a management role with my firm. From this
experience, I have learned a little about such issues, thankfully from
some enlightened souls... There is a concept of "sunk costs." These are
expenses for which your organization is "underwater" - essentially
forever, such as with ClearCase as described above.

Like a sunken ship, such "resources" are only good for salvage. Because of
the fast-pace of computer hardware development and the plumeting prices
for it, it's more frequent that organizations are stuck with sunk costs on
hardware. As an example, consider "optical juke boxes", and "tape robots."
Storage systems such as these are oft found with sunken costs these days
because magnetic disks offer faster access with lower total costs of
ownership - especially so when maintenance, personel, floor
space, air-conditioning and electrical power are taken into consideration.
...The same reasoning applies to software as well, of course...

When your organization has a sunk cost, it's wise to recognize it as early
as possible and move on. True, as a technical person it can be difficult
to deal with situations like this because often management doesn't
consider seriously the business acumen of technical people. But, honestly,
we are often the first to recognize these shipwrecks when they occurr in
the technology. A secondary and not to be minimized problem is the "you're
wrong"  or "placing blame" issue. Simply put: It's not about blame, it's
about your organization being profitable. If put in these terms, USUALLY
management will listen... A thoroughly researched perspective, articulated
gently will usually win the day, and even if you don't get what you want,
you will likely impress your management and you may win the next battle.

...Sorry to be so far off topic...

Good luck out there,

Richard Troy, Chief Scientist
Science Tools Corporation
rtroy@ScienceTools.com, 510-567-9957, http://ScienceTools.com/

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