30 September 2008

Change, Change, CLANG - Change for Fools

It seems like the key to managing large, complex systems is to make sure that no individual can change or impact them. This does, however, have its drawbacks.

It is important that complex systems not be overly fragile or subject to damage by the acts of one rogue or incompetent, So, they are typically made fairly robust against any disruption. This is a good thing. Or can be, if not for the fact that most any change initially shows up as disruptive.

For the same reason that these big corporations or financial systems or airplane designs or governments or computers are fairly secure against disruption, they are also hard to change. This would be significantly better news if the world did not change and they did not have to adapt and evolve.

Because it seems that for whatever goals a system has - it is only a matter of time before the goal to which all other goals is subordinated is the goal of self-preservation, or resisting change.


David said...

You are exactly right and self-preservation of inhabitants often differ and conflict. Then we have people acting in their own self-interest or against another's. This subordination normally produces system inefficiency and sometimes near catastrophe. The Air Force recently fired most of the wrong people in terms of addressing the problem (nuclear safety incidents) and left the culpable in place. The system is set up to seemingly correct mistakes while in fact only reinforcing the prospects of repeat failure.

Ron Davison said...

And you know where I stand on this. It is time to seriously re-think how these organizational systems are constructed.