Ironic phrase for something becoming more complicated specifically because of efforts to ‘simplify’ it?

My linguistic skills fail me and I’d like some advice.

I have a project that currently works exactly as intended, short and sweet, yet a higher up has changed their mind and are asking for it to be done a certain way in order for it to match their concept of “simple”. Ironically, this is making the whole thing far more complicated and less stable.

I feel like there’s a phrase or idiom in English that expresses this well.

“Too many cooks spoil the broth” I don’t feel is appropriate, since the fact more people are looking at it isn’t the problem, this person’s been involved from the start of it.

“Swatting flies with a sledgehammer” or similar Rube Goldberg type phrases don’t seem like a good fit either, since I’m looking to draw more attention to the fact we’ve already got something that works, rather than attacking the new method.

Ideally I’d hope there’s something not too rude, as I don’t wish to intend this as a personal insult on this person.


In software engineering, we sometimes use the term overengineered to describe a solution which has been unnecessarily complicated in the service of dubious priorities, or whose feature set has swelled beyond what is actually required.

The motivation for such solutions is typically a well-intentioned, but misguided, desire to include functionality which may someday be needed/desired, but which has little to no present bearing on the usefulness of the system.

As a consequence of the extraneous components introduced, he resulting system tends to be more difficult to maintain and test, and often makes less efficient use of available resources.

Source : Link , Question Author : Cactus , Answer Author : sumitsu

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