Divide, eliminate and conquer

Ancient Romans were saying “divide and conquer”. I really like this rule both in system design and project management. To adjust it to contemporary times which are full of distractions I would also add “eliminate” phase. It helps to avoid conquering false targets and allows to focus only on biggest value goals.

Please find below some examples of what this rule means in practice.


  • Split complex problem into a number of smaller problems
  • Isolate application modules
  • Assign well defined responsibilities to teams and individuals
  • Break up project into phases
  • Define sub-tasks for stories to implement
  • Set clear SMART goals


  • Identify problems that can be ignored
  • Reduce scope
  • Remove distractions
  • Ask “why?”
  • Focus on goals, not procedures


  • Execute goals with deep believe
  • Don’t give up
  • Improve
  • Know when is enough
  • Celebrate success

“Divide, eliminate and conquer” approach often helped me when I was feeling overwhelmed by a difficult problem or had to choose which path to go. I believe it is useful in wide range of situations starting from fulfilling New Year’s resolutions up to setting and executing enterprise strategy.