Embrace Your Complexity and No One Else’s

Complexity is pervasive. When the complexity is yours, embrace it, do the very best you can with it; resist being lazy and pushing it onto others. However, if you find you are taking on the complexity that really belongs to someone else, that is a problem, and you should work with others to find a solution.

When you offer a product or service, it is essential to remember that your customers expect you to take on the complexity of understanding the product or service, know the risks or issues associated with deliverables, and communicate these issues in such a way that they can provide guidance and direction as needed.

Customers offload the technical complexity of a problem to a product or service but retain the domain knowledge to implement the solution in their environment. They should embrace domain direction and decisions, and shift the technical complexity to the product or service. This enables you to embrace the technical complexity, which is the value that the product or service provides.

Unfortunately, there are times when others have unreasonable expectations. You may need to remind your customers or coworkers of lines of responsibility and complexity, and help them embrace their complexity. However, if you provide a product or service, and your customers do not embrace their complexity, it will leak onto you and become your complexity. Great opportunity is discovered when a customer does not embrace complexity, and you can help.

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