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24Apr/123

Degrees of simplicity

Finally, there is a simple answer to all those tasked with organizing chaos! And the answer is ...drums rolling... 42!

Well, not really. The actual answer is C = F^3.11

where C is the complexity in Standard Complexity Units (SCUs) and F is the number of business functions implemented within the system. In his whitepaper - Mathematics of IT Simplification - Roger Sessions (of ObjectWatch)lays out foundation for quantifying complexity (with a U.S. Patent 7,756,735 for a mathematically-based methodology for minimizing the complexity of large IT systems and enterprise architectures).

This is a huge step forward - "you cannot control what you cannot measure" as Tom DeMarco noted in his "Controlling Software Projects" book

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  1. I’m not an expert in IT, but the formula has a glaring inaccuracy. It’s obvious that the exponent can’t be more than 3.07 if Standard Complexity Units are used. Even with metric Euro Complexity Units it should not exceed 3.09.

  2. But you forget the seasonal expansion due to increased average temperatures around both North and South Poles!… also, it helps to convert into octodecimal system first, and take lunar cycle into consideration 🙂

  3. Mea culpa. Of course one has to take global warming into account! I can see Al Gore’s wag of a finger. I stand corrected.


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