Monday, January 11, 2016

Complex Systems

Borrowed from the excellent book, The Personal MBA

Gall’s Law
A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: a complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work You have to start over, beginning with a simple system.
-- John Gall, Systems Theorist

Complex systems are full of variables and interdependencies that must be arranged just right in order to function. Complex systems designed from scratch will never work in the real world, since they haven’t been subject to environmental selection forces while being designed. Uncertainty ensures that you will never be able to anticipate all of these interdependencies and variables in advance, so a complex system built from scratch will continually fail in all sorts of unexpected ways. 

1 comment:

  1. I believe that Darwin would have had something to say about it. Clearly small failed attempts at advancement do not bring down a system because there are small successes too. This is something that governments have been told for years but their favoured consultancies ignore. It's not where the big bucks are, I guess.