Should tactical solutions have an expiry date?

Todd Biske raises an interesting point about tactical solutions.

Tactical solutions often become permanent because once a problem is off the radar, the importance of allocating budget and resource to the longer term strategic solution drops right down the priority list.

This may not be quite as horrific as it sounds though.  There are tools around that apply tactical fixes to local problems that otherwise might never have been addressed by a strategic solution (we all have priorities right?).  So maybe solutions that start off tactical and end up semi-permanent do still contribute something?

Providing that the tactical tool is part of your strategic intent and either fits with (or sits outside) your strategic infrastructure and it has the flexibility to change then maybe it’s not so bad to have an unknown end date.  Perhaps this is a strategic tool used for tactical purposes?

I agree that a specified end date is sensible if possible however, and therefore any tactical/local/temporary solutions need to payback within that period even if they linger longer than intended.

I believe there is a role for tactical solutions – they can dig you out of a hole, enable a pilot that would otherwise have been too expensive, or enable changes/fixes/quick wins to build confidence or address issues that would not make it up the priority list otherwise.

Perhaps the key (as Todd says) is to decide whether the solution is part of the architecture or not and not leave this decision in limbo.  Maybe a tactical solution can form part of your strategic architecture?

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