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Monday, March 11, 2019

Dead Horse Theory

Essentially "Dead Horse Theory" is the tribal wisdom of the Indians, passed on from generation to generation:
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
However, governments, educations, and corporates most of the time choose more advanced strategies, such as:
  • Buying a stronger whip!
  • Changing riders!
  • Appointing a committee to study the horse!
  • Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses!
  • Lowering the standards so that the dead horses can be included!
  • Re-classifying the dead horse as living-impaired!
  • Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse!
  • Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed!
  • Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse’s performance!
  • Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance!
  • Declaring that the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and, therefore, contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses!
  • Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses. And of course… !
  • Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position!
Although all of above solutions are funny, they are completely serious! Lots of people, companies, and even countries are taking these decisions instead of the rational one.
The main problem of these decisions is not seeing the root cause. The root cause analysis is one of the most fundamental concepts to improve any process, especially software-related proecesses.

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