CUBAR (Customized Beyond All Recognition)…

by

Worker with screwdrive

In a recent conversation at a client (thank Jen Wimberly!), I heard a phrase that I think  should be added to the IT lexicon – CUBAR or CUstomized Beyond All Recognition.

Often times, we implement a “package” or COTS (commercial off the shelf) software package only to tailor it to meet our needs. That’s good – we shouldn’t have to bend our business process or rules purely to meet the needs of a software package. But, at the same time, we shouldn’t just make whole-scale changes to a software package to a point where it essentially becomes a custom solution.

I’ve often advised clients that if they find a software package that isn’t at least an 85-90% fit with their needs, they should consider other solutions or building something from scratch. Why shouldn’t they buy something even if it meets 50% of theirs needs? Because ultimately it gets CUBARed:

  • Making changes can be hard, often using proprietary frameworks or code that you have to work through; this limited amount of control can go from frustrating to just plain limiting – when you have to create extensive work-arounds for something fairly straight forward you should do more than just shake your head
  • All of your customizations have to be maintained by your staff – and it’s often poorly documented, keeps you from being able to update the package and usually leads to poor data quality; on top of that, you usually have to invent your own processes and governance controls for the customizations
  • Your customizations are often likely to result in unintended side-effects – such as creating security holes you didn’t know about, resulting in performance problems, etc.
  • And, of course, customizations often require the skills and expertise of outsiders – that charge a lot of money and all the knowledge walks out the door after the implementation

This isn’t to say that all customizations are bad. But beware the CUBAR – it essentially creates an inflexible, impossible to upgrade, slow performing mess of a solution that could have been done differently.

READ MORE

Your Personality Is Showing

Your Personality Is Showing

There I was, minding my own business one evening, digging into my organization's SEO performance (as one does), when I came across something interesting. Search terms related to "MBTI" — or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel...

read more
Lessons From a Change Manager Who Hates Change

Lessons From a Change Manager Who Hates Change

Hello. My name is Monique, and I’m a change manager who hates change.   After years of receiving “consulting therapy” from various mentors, I am now able to say these words out loud and proudly. But for a long time, it felt more like an admission of guilt. I mean, who...

read more
Creativity as a Cure

Creativity as a Cure

The topic of creative solutioning has been front and center these days as we talk more and more about organizational adaptability in the face of dynamic and uncertain times. For example, I recently read about a project that got me thinking about specific priorities...

read more
Thought Ensemble, a Pariveda Company — Why Now?

Thought Ensemble, a Pariveda Company — Why Now?

Big news over here as we close out the year - we have been acquired by Pariveda, a 750-person consulting firm in 12 markets across North America! We are now “Thought Ensemble, a Pariveda Company” and I’ll be serving as the Managing Vice President continuing to lead...

read more
Thought Ensemble Joins Pariveda Solutions!

Thought Ensemble Joins Pariveda Solutions!

Dallas, December 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Pariveda, a leader specializing in solving complex technology and business problems, announces the acquisition of Thought Ensemble. With the addition of Thought Ensemble, Pariveda now provides holistic business strategy,...

read more
Thoughts on Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

Thoughts on Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

It was about a year ago that we first started hearing about Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (SB19-085) and I knew it was going to be national news. We’d just gotten past the “Rocky Mountain High” jokes, and our lovely state was trying to break new ground...

read more
Disruption Is the New Normal

Disruption Is the New Normal

By nature, disruptors are not popular. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win, then they copy you.” We have all heard some version of this quote, and we have all seen it play out in real life. We've seen it with building...

read more
What Would You Say You Do Here?

What Would You Say You Do Here?

“I deal with the … customers so the engineers don't have to! I have people skills!” That famous Office Space quote from Tom Smykowski cracks me up every single time. I know Toms. I’ve been Tom. Change the quote to say, “IT Team” instead of “engineers,” and there’s a...

read more