Time Sink

Something that consumes excessive amounts time. Frequently used to describe VideoAddiction, WebSurfing?, and CrossCountryDrive?s from Ann Arbor to SiliconValley. (How about Wiki?)

A bad place to be if you have TooMuchToDo, unless you are an AllBeingMasterOfTimeSpaceAndDimension.
I've noticed that the task of researching a system in order to gather requirements or provide an estimate can be a huge consumer of time.

I'll try to find time to describe a pattern I'm using to reduce the time taken by software evals - TestFirstEvaluation?. In a nutshell, you think hard about what you need it to do or what you'd like in such a system, and in the end write down a series of yes/no questions in the form "Can I do X with it". You then use available means, preferably actual evaluation copies of the system under review, but if necessary documentation or phone calls to sales reps, to determine whether the product passes or fails the tests. Choose the product that passes all tests. If more than one passes all tests, prefer the one which passed "live", i.e. using an eval version. If there are still more than one, either write more tests or choose the cheaper product. If no product passes all tests (usual outcome), either prioritize the tests and choose the one which passes the most important tests, or (if no product passes more than a few tests, none of which is very important) build your own.


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