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

Always ask “Why?”

January 13, 2021

Always ask “Why?” Little kids ask “Why?” all the time, because they are sponges for …

Always ask “Why?” Read More »

Averages hide the extremes

January 6, 2021

Averages hide the extremes I can’t remember where I first heard it, but “averages hide …

Averages hide the extremes Read More »

Look up PARTIAL names!

December 24, 2020

Look up PARTIAL names! Train your staff to do look ups on partial names, not full …

Look up PARTIAL names! Read More »

Not Just Technology

December 16, 2020

Not Just Technology There was recently a discussion on the ASAE online community about project management …

Not Just Technology Read More »

Consider quitting

December 4, 2020

Consider quitting Patient: “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” Doctor: “Then stop doing that.” …

Consider quitting Read More »

There is nothing so permanent as business rules

November 25, 2020

There is nothing so permanent as business rules Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman said, “There’s nothing …

There is nothing so permanent as business rules Read More »

Budget for feature discovery and adoption

November 18, 2020

Budget for feature discovery and adoption When developing a budget for implementation of a new …

Budget for feature discovery and adoption Read More »

Customize staff pages for better user adoption

November 11, 2020

Customize staff pages for better user adoption The single most important element to data management …

Customize staff pages for better user adoption Read More »

Don’t ask questions for which you already know the answer

November 4, 2020

Don’t ask questions for which you already know the answer I was recently completing an …

Don’t ask questions for which you already know the answer Read More »

All decisions involve risk

October 28, 2020

All decisions involve risk Whether it’s choosing a new AMS or introducing a new product …

All decisions involve risk Read More »

Scroll to Top