Don't miss the deadline

“Are we there yet?” How to break Hofstadter’s Law

Tue, 14 Dec 2021

Software projects are notorious for going over time and over budget. Orchid Extender can help you avoid becoming a statistic.

For almost 2 years, we've been watching a new apartment block go up across the road. Demolition, excavation, construction, fitting out. Noise and vibration, dust and dirt, trucks and tradies.

“When will it be finished?”, we ask! “When can we move in?”, ask the off-the-plan purchasers!

The forecast date of August became October, then November, then December. Now early next year is looking good, they say. But which month? Which week? Who knows! 

For anyone who has worked on IT projects – let alone paid for them - this will sound all too familiar. My favourite take on this is the quirkily self-referential Hofstadter's Law:

It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.

This article on software estimation, by Jacob Kaplan-Moss, kicks off by quoting some stats that are at once shocking, and shockingly unsurprising:

  • A McKinsey study found that large software projects (over $15M) went, on average, over budget by 66%, and over schedule by 33%.
  • An HBR study found that 1 in 6 IT projects had cost overruns of over 200% and schedule overruns of almost 70%.

Knowing this, it’s surprising that anyone is prepared to invest in software projects at all.

Breaking the Law in Sage 300

If you are embarking on a Sage 300 customization project you are unlikely to have a budget of $15M, but that doesn’t make you immune to the serious business impacts of cost and time overruns.

How can you avoid becoming another victim of Hofstadter's Law? Orchid Extender might just be your get-out-of-jail-free card.

Why Code when you can Configure?

Extender Configurator lets you tailor Sage 300 by adding alerts, logging, workflows, and simple integrations, without writing a single line of code.

Unleashing the Power of Python

Extender Developer opens the door to further bespoke customization, including custom tables, screens, validations & other business logic, plus advanced workflows and integration. All this while reducing risk:

  • It uses Python, the world’s favourite programming language. This makes finding skilled developers easier. They can then leverage countless open-source libraries, reducing the cost and complexity of development.
  • All customizations, including Python scripts, are held within your Sage 300 database and are easily upgradeable.


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