Being logical doesn’t make you right

My profession (IT architect and analyst) tends to use jargon that is nigh incomprehensible to the managers and myriad other professionals we call “the business”.  Gradually I am getting better at asking business people questions in language they can understand, and drawing diagrams they are willing to read.

As I gain their trust, I hear business people bitching about (other) IT people being “idiots”.  Of course, business people recognize that IT folks are very intelligent, when it comes to logical analysis.  But it is common for IT people to be clueless that the most logical solution will not succeed, because of legal limitations or human preferences.  It is hard for a mathematically-trained mind to understand that being logical doesn’t make you right.

Theoretically, I can interview the business until every little process is mapped as predictable boxes and lines, and all the information is structured with predictable codes.  In practice, the business people want to retain some judgement calls, some ad-hockery, some wiggle room to deal with the human situations that IT folks don’t encounter up close:  the political uncertainty, the legal subtlety, the compassionate exception.  (Not to mention the legal uncertainty, the subtle dispassion, the political exception.)