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I think schumi hit it right on the with the end of his post.
Programming applications needs to be fluid. Fluid like a Glass of water. Rigid enough to hold in the water, (a la using standardization techniques) but fluid like the water so as to be able to adapt and cover the problem at hand.
I have noticed that this situation is usually brought about by persons who know what they want the system for, and who have very little understanding of software design processes and methods. Currently, I am in this situation writing a Java based reporting system, with a database backend, and have come to many of the same frustrated dead ends. Management wants the latest and greatest, and therefore, anything that is already written isnt good enough.
my apologies for restating some points mentioned earlier, but they were relevant.
Tempora Mutantur Nos et Mutamur in Illis
"The Times are Changed Even as We are Changed in Them"