Monday, July 14, 2014

Problem statement is simple. Why is policy complicated?

Recently I read an article that states that policies enacted are difficult to understand because it is complex. I have previously designed and created bespoke ERP solutions and I do not understand how the policy can be so complex that it is difficult to understand.

The reason is very simple. In my opinion, policies are created to solve a problem statement. The problem statement is usually simple. E.g. The lift breakdowns often. Therefore the solution is to ensure someone is able to check that the lift is working and ensure that you have both preventive and correct maintenance process on-hand for all existing and new lifts.

The policy only becomes complicated when you over-think. You go in-depth to see whether if it is the model of the lift that cause the issue, the height of the lift, the environmental factors, etc that cause the issue. However, all this takes time and while you're thinking of all these other factors, the poor residents are suffering elsewhere.

This is where in software engineering terms, we deem it as root cause analysis. This is done separately from resolving the issue because it is recognised that to determine the root cause, you need time. To solve the issue, you may even need more time. All this will be done, but it is taken at a separate timeline.

In this context, it just means that there will be other policies in place to ensure that this maintenance regime does not incur more cost. This will be prioritised among other problems that you may have, and is taken separately.

Policies should not be complicated. Humans make it complicated.

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