Simple rules for complex systems

Simple rules for complex systems

I first heard the phrase "simple rules for complex systems" from Jonah Goldberg, who was commenting on rules for political/social systems. But I think this maxim is very applicable to data management. After all, most AMS systems are complex, so the rules that manage them should be as simple as possible.

I've written many times about managing to the exception, and the dangers therein. If we apply the "simple rules" principle, we will, by definition, avoid managing to the exception. For example, any rule that also includes an "unless" or a "however" (e.g., do it this way, unless it's X, then do it that way) is complex and managing to the exception, and should be avoided.

So take a look at your business rules. For membership, for event registration, for your certification processes, for all the data you manage. How complicated are they? How many exceptions are being managed by them? What can you do to simplify them?

Repeat after me: Simple rules for complex systems.

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

“Working with you is like going to therapy.”

October 20, 2021

“Working with you is like going to therapy.” I was working with a client last …

“Working with you is like going to therapy.” Read More »

The best ideas are stolen

October 13, 2021

The best ideas are stolen I don’t remember where I first heard it, but someone said …

The best ideas are stolen Read More »

It’s all about expectations

October 7, 2021

It’s all about expectations One of the most critical contributors to the success of a …

It’s all about expectations Read More »

Either you test, or your members will

September 29, 2021

Either you test, or your members will If I was forced to choose the single …

Either you test, or your members will Read More »

But are you really willing to change?

September 22, 2021

But are you really willing to change? When any organization is making a change in data management …

But are you really willing to change? Read More »

Two tips for data conversion

September 15, 2021

Two Tips for Data Conversion I’ve written a lot about data conversion over the years …

Two tips for data conversion Read More »

Who should “own” the database?

September 8, 2021

Who should “own” the database? One of the most common questions I get from my …

Who should “own” the database? Read More »

What makes you weird?

September 1, 2021

What makes you weird? When I work with clients on selecting a new association management system, one …

What makes you weird? Read More »

Why “AMS Consortiums” Don’t Work

August 25, 2021

Why “AMS Consortiums” Don’t Work About once a year I will get a call from …

Why “AMS Consortiums” Don’t Work Read More »

Your vendor will disappoint you

August 18, 2021

Your vendor will disappoint you I follow politics as a hobby. A past publisher from …

Your vendor will disappoint you Read More »

Scroll to Top