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They have to be 'current' engineers and that is rare if they are
also managers and decision makers. My experience is that
engineer/managers tend to build on past experience and the past is
not always informative given a change in the environment or
engineers who believe rightly or wrongly that they can do
a better job than the standard enables. The best I've seen
are the choices where one gets to measure the effects of
the choice prior to commitment (build a few prototypes).
Even then, the results aren't likely to be 100%; sometimes
better, often a bit worse.
Trusting your own judgment is as good as it gets. In
many cases the non-technical guesses are right because they
are based on environmental/big picture knowledge and not the
minutiae of implementations. However, those decisions are often
late and past the technology power curve where earlier adoption
gets better market results.
There are absolutely no absolutes here. Make your bet and
open the box. Bury the cat or stroke it.
From: Michael Kay [mailto:email@example.com]
> That requires a lot of education and that's often tough to justify...
> What do you answer to someone that tells you that, of course standard
> conformance is important but that she/he prefers using a tool
> that gives
> a view she/he can understand than a tool which is perfectly conformant
> but that she/he can't understand?
I think that developers both in supplier and user organizations usually
understand the value of standards conformance; in my experience it's the
non-technical decision makers in both organizations who don't.
As engineers we intuitively understand the importance of investing in
"potential for change" when we build systems, and standards conformance is
part of that. The trouble is that we don't know how to measure how much
potential for change we have in a system, and therefore we have trouble
putting together a business case for this investment.
I've spent a lot of my life struggling with this problem, and the only
answer I have is to put the decision-making in the hands of engineers -
which in my case means running my own company!