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Is the juice worth the squeeze?

Written on August 25, 2022

If you’ve ever tried squeezing orange juice or lemonade, you know that the initial squeeze yields the most juice.

Once you get closer to the skin of the citrus, the effort increases while the yield of juice reduce to drops.

Was the juice worth the extra squeeze?

Your answer could be different based on perspective. You may be someone who doesn’t mind the effort because you don’t want to let anything go to waste.

When it comes to effort and yielded value; you get more juice (higher value) from the initial squeeze when the slice of citrus is plump with lower effort. Squeezing an already squeezed slice yields drops (lower value) with higher effort.

In the world of product development, this question is great to ask when approached with solving a problem.

For a product owner, with limited resources, asking the question could help determine priority of features or issues to fix.

For example, let’s say there’s a bug that affects only one or two customers. You have a manual workaround that takes less than ten minutes to fix. Getting your engineering team to fix it will take days or a sprint or two to fix.

Is the juice worth the squeeze?

For an engineer, when working on a solution to a problem, it’s good to pause and assess how close you are to meeting the criteria of a task.

Let’s say you’ve got a 90% solution to your problem and you’re able to turn it in today. Not finishing the last 10% isn’t noticeable to the end-user–the solution is good enough–but to finish it will take another half day of work.

Is the juice worth the squeeze?

In some scenarios the final few drops is worth the squeeze.

But often, the juice is better from squeezing another plump, slice of citrus.

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