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Quote to remember

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You spend a lot of money putting in control systems based on idealised process flows and ways of working. This applies in customer relationship management and health & safety alike along with many other fields. It looks really good on the flow charts. However the day to day reality of dealing with customers, or doing the job (say on an oil rig) means that people have to break the rules. Your business depends on their doing so and as long as it has a good outcome you ignore it. However if something goes wrong, you bring out that rule book and the idealised model and now you have someone to blame: the poor smuck who has been making your business work for you.
- Dave Snowden in The penny and the bun

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One Response to “Quote to remember”


  1. Dave Walker
    on Sep 18th, 2007
    @ 10:27 am

    Public sector – particularly central Government – is a particular classic case of this. Recall the “Westminster irregular verb” – “I inform, you leak, he / she / it is being prosecuted for breach of the Official Secrets Act” :-) .

    Where the press can’t get hold of information associated with questionable Government behaviour, which is not covered under the Freedom of Information Act, so the feedback loop which (in an ideal world – sigh) causes Government duplicity to result in an electoral thumping at the earliest possible opportunity, is incomplete.

    It’s worth a thought that the FOIA also acts to very carefully limit the scope for use of DRM within Government, but that’s OT for this comment.

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