11 Dec 2003
At first, reductionism was healthy. As top-down redesigns became too large for one person, or even one team, managers broke large projects into smaller projects and assigned teams to tackle specific tasks. Initially, team members resisted any separation from the whole. They insisted on understanding how their work fit into the bigger picture. They insisted on interdisciplinary collaboration, and so we had teams of specialists working toward shared goals.
But sites keep growing and reductionism is a slippery slope. Increasingly, people are simply giving up on the big picture. They act locally but don't think globally. These individuals now design their parts in utter ignorance of the whole.