Human Limitations [ Root cause of the problem]

The following are the two very important human limitations which are single handedly responsible for failure of software systems:

  1. Single Frame Of Vision - Human beings are limited by the problem called as Single Frame of Vision. Human beings can only describe those aspects of a system completely and correctly as to whatever he can see in the current frame of vision. For every aspect of the system that cannot be visualized in the current frame , he will have to depend on his memory and the resultant information might be incomplete or incorrect. Business systems which are usually automated by software systems are too huge to be visualized in a single frame of vision. A human being cannot understand a complex system completely and correctly till he cannot visualize a system from different perspectives at different levels of granularity in a single frame of vision

  2. Inability of a human brain to comprehend the numerous scenarios in a system - Functionalities of a complex systems can have hundreds of combination's of scenarios for which the business logic can be different. But a human brain is actually not capable of thinking and describing more than 20-30 scenarios and hence hundreds of scenarios get missed because of this human limitation.

  3. The above limitations are faced by both the customers as well the software professionals interacting with the customers.

  4. These two humans limitations are mostly responsible for the losses worth 50 billion USDs.

  5. Till these human limitations are not resolved , these problems with requirements and analysis will continue to exist.

  6. Most of the problems related to software system failures and improper project estimations can be traced to "Human Limitations wrt Complex Systems".

The detailed understanding of these human limitations can be understood in the article "Let us not blame the customer - Human Limitations wrt software systems"

Hemant Jha
Founder - VPlanSolutions
Researcher, Trainer