Monday, May 18, 2009

Testing, again

A question, or two (also, see bet2give), has been asked about the new plan (asked May 3rd) and about the new enthusiasm (or one might say, certainty) for getting the plane delivered given the experience of two years ago.

Well, as an aside, isn't it great how the new media allows such unencumbered discussion? Or does it?

Suppose one could use some of the psychological insights for related events, as humans are at the core of an organization and its accomplishments, then we could use positive psychology. That is, for whatever the organic whole that a company is, it's sole goal is to thrive.

To continue, a positive outlook has a futuristic bent; we could use a more technical parlance and say that it's like a long extrapolation at an edge. And, as those who have dealt with geometry know, one has to be really careful about moving off what is known into the grand unknown, which would include projections toward the future. Yet, we do this all the time and assume 20-20 foresight. Actually, it's a syndrome which expects that declarations lead to results, by some type of necessity, if the right process is followed.

That a program can lose its sight may be due to several factors, such as the exhilaration with the potential (and changes on all fronts) almost to the extent of megalomania (assume that we would want maturity for the organization?) such that the uncertainty related to process change is overlooked.

We really must remember the other side which is the negative outlook and which is more driven by what's happening; that this is driven by data around the current position is important. Consider, did we not see a serious mismatch a couple of years ago between expectations (assumed earned value) and what was actually the case? Did we also not see that a planned event was held as if there were no wrinkles or as if no one would care that there were problems being broad-brushed over?

The mathematical metaphors (geometry) are being used as the program pushed use of abstraction-phile techniques to the max from the beginning. We'll be looking at that in much detail (or as much as we are allowed to see). Just the other day, this blogger heard a modeler exclaiming about how finely he can predict with his computer. Well, nature has it own ways; unfortunately, failures are mostly subtle and allow many possible explanations; yet, it'll come about that we need humans in the loop - as borgs and more. And, computational results are not reality, though humans are fooled thereby (see flight simulation - actually, everything could probably be approximated close enough except for this - going from point a to point b).

A company would want to balance these outlooks (the positive and negative). Guess what? It's not easy. In fact, somehow those at the top seem to think that they're the only ones who can handle the future and relegate the underlings to the supposedly more mundane aspects of the operation.

Then, these guys/gals may act like rogues (some, many?, don't). Tsk, Tsk. Wise up people to the newer way of doing things that is unfolding under your noses.

Of course, you need the big picture, goals, and strategy. But, those at the top seem to fall into some type of rhetorical blindness. Ah yes, let's execute the plan. Unfortunately, the only 'E' in the title is for the chief guy/gal who can be so far removed from the nitty-gritty of reality to be essentially more of a bane than a boon. That is 'executive' evidently trumps 'execution' for some reason that seems to be more grounded in the past (long history of class issues) than in what is really needed for the future.

What are some impacts of the current imbalance? Engineers can be pushed to the side; rhetoric, and selling, become the prime focus; we all have to be more paranoid just to protect ourselves from the manipulations whose results can border, many times, on the barely legal. Ah, the litany could be long (this blog and truth engineering will continue to enumerate and describe these).

Fortunately, test flight events are real and sound. So, expect that the engineering view will have more prominence.

This ought to be very interesting.


07/22/2015 -- Some of these are, now, poster boys.

01/20/2013 -- Change link to bet2give.

05/17/2011 -- Golden sacks (leftmost mug), by Rolling Stone and Daily Ticker.

09/13/2009 -- More on sandbox, the economics testing facility. Need to pause for a bit, to look at Bookstaber's work.

07/14/2009 -- Nope, confounding continues.

05/19/2009 -- Positive psychology seems to focus on the optimal which for an organization (business) may mean sub-optimal for all involved but a few. Seems that for some businesses it's the very few. And, the 'sub' is way down to being just a resource chewed up and cast off when worn out.

The trouble is that companies talk as if they want people to feel fully utilized, but the reality is that one has to work to the plan and to the process. That latter, especially in the context of 6-sigma, is both tedious and arduous. And, those who put their noses to the grindstones are not always rewarded. Those at the top? Oh, 'golden' safety apparatuses galore. Yes, we know what is maximized in many cases (link to examples of extractions, Grasso, et al).

Modified: 07/22/2015

No comments: