Automated chaos

There is an old adage that we need to learn to walk, before we try to run.

What this means is that we need to understand what we are trying to do, we need to master it before we can look to accellerate it.

If we don’t do that then we will not have mastered the fundamentals of the task and we will not have a solid foundation to build.

This is like building a car and not tightening the wheel nuts sufficiently, then when we speed up, at some point the wheels will fall of and it can lead to a disaster.

I find that this is a very common occurance in IT, where there is a strong focus on identifying the software package to support the process, rather than on the process itself.

There is a strong drive to automate the process, rather than optmise.

But faster doesn`t always mean optimal. If the process is choatic but managable at low speeds; once its automated we have just automated choas.

We need to eliminate the choas from the process before we automate it. Which may actually mean slowing it down and mastering it at walking pace, then once we have optimised the process, only then should we look to automate.

This was reinforced to me as I got a running coach to help me with my preparation for the Marathon, it was supposed to be a session where he would give me advice on nuitrition and hydration, as you cannot complete the marathon without eating and drinking.

But before we started that, he said, lets look at your running form, so I jogged 100m.

To my surprise he said to me, if you don`t improve your running style you will struggle to complete the marathon, your running is inefficient, it`s taking too much enegry and this will put too much strain on your muscles.

He told me i needed to slow down my running and teach my body to run in a fat burning mode as this would help me conserve energy, and then slowly build up the speed as my body got used to working in this mode.

If i didn`t do that i would be able to run quickly but my body would be in the wrong mode i.e.carb burning mode, and i wouldn`t be able to sustain it for 42km, maybe it would get to 30km or so, but then i would really start to struggle.

If we don`t learn to walk correctly, before we run, especially with our business processes, then when we will be in danger of automating chaos.

No business is looking for automated chaos.