Too often, people are afraid to ask stupid questions. In my opinion, stupid questions may be the best and most valuable questions.
It is very easy to develop “group think”, where people within a group or organization adopt a common view of a situation. This is good for teamwork, but bad for vetting complicated designs or enacting long term strategies. About the only thing that can be guarantees in a long term strategy is that the decision criteria will change over the course of time. However, if you blindly stick with the strategy, even after the criteria used to develop the strategy have changed, you may no longer be going in the right direction for the organization.
3 years into a 5 year project, once everyone is fully educated on the goals and the project plan, you need someone that will stand up and ask the stupid question…”why are we doing this?”. Don’t let the question annoy you, and don’t let your pride keep you from truly considering the question. Every project and design needs a devil’s advocate, forcing you to revisit decisions and justify why they are (still) relevant.
For more on this topic, check out my article in TechTarget’s Search Server Virtualization site at: http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/news/2240118451/Asking-stupid-questions-can-lead-to-server-virtualization-success. As always, feel free to come back here and leave comments.