The Analysis Paralysis Syndrome

Analysis Paralysis is a term given to the situation where a team of otherwise intelligent and well-meaning analysts enter into a phase of analysis that only ends when the project is cancelled. Common causes are:
  • The lure of infinite composability and decomposability
  • Insistence on completing all analysis before beginning design.
  • Regular change of leads and their philosophies (each trashing and restarting the work of the previous)
  • Too many learning curves at once (underqualified analyst) causing incessant revisiting of prior work
  • Lack of goals
  • Increasingly conflicting goals (often political)
  • Creative speculation, when discovery and definition are required.
  • BigProjectSyndrome: this one will do it all, will use the latest tools, will use a new paradigm, will use all new developers, will start with a clean slate, will handle all use cases of two or more existing systems in the first release, etc.
  • Risk avoidance, fear of making a mistake.

I didn't know this was its name.