Saturday, November 29, 2008


In Chapter 14 of his book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Jared Diamond lists general reasons for failure of societies and their ultimate demise. These apply also to working with technical problems. If you don't succeed at problem solving you will ultimately be out of business. I'll just list them now as food for thought and ruminate on each of them later on.
  • Failure to anticipate
  • Failure to perceive a present problem.
  • Failure to try to solve a problem
  • Failure to succeed at attempts to solve the problem
My website is primarily directed at providing assistance in solving known problems, but taking a look at the big picture of why you get into problems in the first place is beneficial. Ideally, one anticipates problems before they happen and work out solutions proactively. That is the reasoning behind FMEA (Failure Mode & Effects Analysis). Even though you may not have had prior experience of failure of your process or system, or failure may have occurred in the past, FMEA is a tool for detecting weaknesses and developing safeguards.

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