After drawing the diagrams for my last post, I'm playing with ideas for a notation for describing options. What I've come up with so far isn't very good — I'm not even very clear on what the dimensions are... I think it's roughly time along the x-axis and choices along the y-axis, though I think I may be mixing other concepts in as well — but, anyway, I thought I'd put it out in the hope that someone else might help me improve it.
Here's a real-life example from my last project (read it from left to right):
We actually followed these steps. The team in Hong Kong worked on improving the speed of the database reports, while, in London, I built an alternative report generator that wasn't as flexible, but was very fast. By release time the Hong Kong team had ironed out all the problems with the queries and optimised the databases indexes so their reports were adequately fast. In the end, we went with a mixture of the two.
I also got in trouble by trying to be too clever. I put code in to the test environment to do live cross-checking of the reports generated by the two methods. It did reveal some discrepancies. But I got in trouble because they were trying to do speed tests at the time. Communication, communication, communication...
Let me know if you have any ideas about a notation for describing options (I'm talking about real-life options, not financial options).