Imagine a future where robots run the hospitals as a way to cut health care costs. A robot ambulance pulls up to the door of the Emergency Room with an unconscious patient. The robot triage nurse connects electrodes to the patient and notices a low heart rate, low blood pressure, and intense pain readings emanating from the abdomen. The diagnosis: blood loss and pain. Prescription: provide blood and pain killers.
Then, in comes a human physician who notices that the patient has a gunshot wound. A surgery team swoops in and removes the bullet and patches the patient up.
OK… time to switch metaphors. Your business is going along, operating normally. A customer comes in the door with a complaint. The product he purchased is broken within a few minutes of getting it.
Enterprise architecture has the same problem in more ways than one.
A word of advice: when a problem erupts: triage is important, but surgery may be necessary. Don’t solve the underlying problem without dealing with the symptoms. Don’t deal with the symptoms without also addressing the underlying problem.
Nice metaphor there. It really gets the point across.
I received a response on twitter that is worth mentioning. From @oddbjorn: Nice blog post on complaint vs. root cause, but didn't Argyris and Schön deserve at least a footnote? (http://t.co/vvx1p3Ej) :-)
Answer: yes. they do. A good introduction to the theory of Open Loop and Closed Loop Learning can be found on Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/.../Chris_Argyris