This article presents a few hard earned opinions about how to fix a complex system. This approach is slow and methodical. It is best used when simple parts swapping does not solve the problem.
If you are interested, please see http://rick.sparber.org/FACS.pdf
Your comments are welcome. All of us are smarter than any one of us.
Just bumping this incredibly important article. Most, if not all visitors to this site have encountered broken complex systems, and are even in possession of a variety of failed fixes or ever-broken machinery or tools. What's interesting here is the identification of non-intuitive problem-solving techniques, specifically these points:
-Identify people who run the system and invite them to be a part of the trouble shooting team.
-Could it be that the operator changed and the root cause is a person and not the system?
-Until proven wrong, assume there is more than one source of failures.
-If experts exist outside of the team, ask them to attend periodic reviews. Often the simple act of preparing for these reviews will shed light on the problem.
-Beyond the technical effort of finding the root causes of the failures is the political side.
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