Thanks for the link. For me the real nugget was the further link
to the actual report that built the diagram. Skimming the report, to me the diagram suddenly has high credibility. The author’s goal was not to dynamically model the problem via simulation, but to conceptually model it with a pseudo CLD/SD diagram. The report builds the model one conceptual block at a time. It was probably passed out as part of a presentation and discussion.
Reading the blog replies, it seems that most people feel instant conceptual overload when seeing the diagram or reading the report. Their reaction is to cleverly denounce the diagram, using witticisms to give their objections credibility. A few, however, see it contains some gems of wisdom. I’m in that camp.
Related to this, I was casting about this morning for material to support a dramatic (Fred Brooks style) opening to a chapter on Moving Forward with a Process that Fits the Problem.
Having worked at NASA for a year at the height of the Apollo Program, I knew them to be strong on process. So what did I find?
The mother of all process flow charts: The NASA Program/Project Life Cycle Process Flow
. This is huge, so enlarge it until you can read it. Then right click on the pdf, switch to the hand tool, and drag the diagram around to explore it. It’s 100% sound, understandable, and implementable. And boy does it have depth. I’m staggered by the quality of this diagram and the work behind it.
“When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war,” General McChrystal dryly remarked, one of his advisers recalled, as the room erupted in laughter.
If you read the report that produced that slide, it is
understandable. Thus even extremely sharp managers like McChrystal have (?) bought into the myth that all large complex diagrams are worthless.
The NASA process chart should put that popular myth to rest.
Now then, how am I going to put that chart in the book?