You are healthy and fit, so you decide to have a cheat day. That one day doesn’t hurt you and you are fine. But then the next day you cheat again on your diet. No big deal you will get back to it on Monday. Six months later you find yourself completely out of shape. You are wondering how that happened, what was the moment you went from fit to fat. What was the day that you went over the cliff from being that fit to that fat person.
I woke up one day and thought why I can’t fit into my skinny jeans and tried to pinpoint the day I got fat. The problem was, there was not a ‘moment’ it was a six-to-eight-month small with hundreds of breakdowns that cumulated into a failure. Now of course, I had to change course and get myself back into shape, but it made me start thinking about the cliff moment. In most cases there is no understanding of anything is wrong until it’s a bit too late.
My day job is in technology (regular readers know that) and there are occasional outages or problems. I am sure most people have been hit by an outage of either their cell phone, a software service or even their internet and wonder what went wrong. Inside companies there is a range of reactions. The notion of finding the root cause and fixing it to restore service is the goal. Once service is restored then becomes the understanding of finding not just what went wrong, but why?
Obviously, no one wants to admit that they made the mistake, but you will get called out if you were at fault. Let us assume that people do admit their mistakes and place in the analysis, what I have seen in thirty-five plus years of being in technology the answer is made simplistic. The goal is to obviously make it easy to display and then come up with a solution.
Looking at most of the issues I encountered and now comparing it with weight loss, very few can be explained simply. most of them are a series of decisions and issues that lead to the failure. How do you tell someone that everything from hiring practice, location strategy, budget, architecture decisions, technology decision, time to marked pressure, poor communication, people not reading emails, lack of testing and more can lead to failure. These things are not easily repairable, so they are often ignored.
The challenge in both personal and business situations is being able to figure out how to change. I am challenging myself to start looking at issues this way, and instead of blaming one thing look at everything that led up to the breaking point. If you don’t make your bed one day, a few weeks later your whole room is a mess, if the light on your car goes on, a few weeks later it dies, if you stop learning, years later the person next to you is smarter.
How to we stop these failures? How do we make good decisions so that they do not add up to failure? I am going to dig into that next week, this week I think spending the time understanding how to see problems coming needs to be digested.
This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free. I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them.
This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book. With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path. I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content. I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip. I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog. AI is not used in this writing other than using the web to find information.Images without notes are created using and AI tool that allows me to reuse them.