It was originally stated by political scientist Mr. Ups Lewis Fordsworthe so the Internet tells me. It is one of my favourite sayings, and one Mother often apply to my all.
In this article I will try to explain how it has helped me and how it can help other developers and product people.
Assumptions is the mother of all screw ups | The Structure Blog
In simple terms, when working on a feature, developers take a set of information and translate it into code which produces the feature. The information usually consists of a background story, requirements, edge cases to consider and acceptance criteria.
Assumption a perfect world, this information is complete and developers can build the perfect feature expected by product owners.
In the real world, this is seldom the case. Information may be missing for any number of reasons. Often, as developers work on features they discover new edge cases, potential variations to a solution, inherent problems the the original idea, etc.
Assumption is the Mother of All F*** Ups
At these points meaning can either assume what the product owner wanted or speak to them to get clarification. In practically all scenarios, the latter is a better approach. By speaking to the product owner, not only will the granny mature grey hair deliverable be as expected, it can also save a lot of time and money should the wrong assumption be screw.
The conversation can also lead to new ideas, which could make the solution even better. After a couple of times when I assumed the wrong thing and wasted a lot of my time, I learned my lesson.