What price simplicity?
Friday, 2 September, 2011 2 Comments
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It is fair to say that the (adapted) words of “Occam’s razor” are as valid in 21st Century as they were in the 14th!
Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate
For those of us whose knowledge of Latin didn’t extend beyond ‘O’ Level, this is roughly translated as: Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.
However a more familiar quote, oft attributed to Einstein, that expresses what William of Ockham was telling us, is: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
In modernity we have, unwittingly, come to rely upon levels of complexity in communications, products and services that were the stuff of science fiction in our own life-times…that does pre-suppose that your are old enough to remember Colour television as the preserve of an affluent minority!
But, if we should be striving for simplicity, THE question is: how can we reduce complexity without losing functionality?
Ontonix quantify current complexity and, more importantly, the point of “critical complexity” beyond which loss of function, failure or collapse are assured. We contest that, without a means to, objectively, quantify system complexity the ability to simplify – without loss of function – is impossible as there is no means to “track” causality!
I have read some experts (and consultants) talking about adding “good complexity” and removing “bad complexity”. Great! That makes sense, but if defining complexity has been the source of much Academic “mental masturbation” for over 30 years – without unilateral agreement – I would suggest that this amounts to little more than a sales pitch for consultancy services!
If anyone offers such a service to you I would suggest that you pose some pretty basic questions:
what is your definition of “complexity”?
what data is required to initiate the process?
how do you identify which is “good” or “bad”?
how can you quantify amounts of complexity current and future impact?
will outcomes be quantitative?
can you guarantee objectivity?
Of course there are myriad other questions that could be asked but these should be sufficient to assess the integrity of any process.
One thing for sure is that managing complexity is good for, both, manageability and profitability. This document is particularly useful.
Alternatively, you could approach The Simplicity Partnership. Their report, Global Simplicity Index™sounds particularly interesting…and, if you succeed with a request for a copy, I would be particularly interested to learn more about their approach.
However, unsurprisingly, I am firmly of the opinion that the best option (by far) is to “dip your toe” into complexity for FREE! Ontonix are so confident of our unique approach that you can download, complete and submit a template (with your own financial information) for an initial assessment.
We are happy to help with any needs or more detailed analysis as a result of the insight you gain