Epiphanies for Everybody

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Broken Systems

March 01, 20221 min read

Broken Systems

If you see a system that consistently creates the same broken results, don’t conclude that the system is broken. The system is working exactly as designed. Unfortunately, the designers prioritised something more highly than working results, so that’s what they’re getting — successful delivery of broken results.

“Agile” can’t fix it. No methodology can. “Transformation” can’t fix it. The only thing that can fix it is understanding what the system is designed to create, bringing it into the open (expose the assumptions of the system), and working with the system designers (usually senior management) to change the purpose of the system.

From there, it becomes possible to identify the gap between today’s reality and the way the system would have to operate to deliver on the goal. If you can achieve that, the changes to how the system operate become much easier to identify, communicate, and implement.

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