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Author Topic: When should we stop analysing and do some doing?  (Read 796 times)
grahame
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« on: June 26, 2020, 06:56:20 am »

A cynical reply from me to a Facebook post ...

Quote
In generality, we need a report on how many reports we need at at what point we should stop reporting and actually get on with things, taking the risk that we haven't reported enough to achieve a perfect outcome. Of course, such a report would need a feasability study first ...


Do we over-do the analysis these days?
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chuffed
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2020, 08:47:11 am »

Definitely. All 7,500 pages of the DCO for Portishead ? I wouldn't be surprised if 7,499 of these were for newt mitigation ponds, climbing frames,  and newt Hiltons.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 11:52:30 am by chuffed » Logged
eightf48544
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2020, 09:32:55 am »

What I've noticed is that we don't seem to do proper Systems analysis anymore.

Looking at the boundaries the inputs and expected outputs, the processess to be performed in system. Using tools such as Operational Research, Work Study, Organisation and Methods.

 I worked for the Divisional Manager Central Division (SR) who insisted that at any report was no longer than one side of A4, on which he would cross question you on rigorously, woe betide you if you didn't have the relevant data to hand to back up your recommendations.

But nobody can master 7500 pages. It's a waste of paper.

I keep quoting Science at War as there are numerous examples of clever sometimes counter intuitive solutions to various problems.

I wonder how long it would take today to decide that doubling the size of a convoy has several positive effects. Only one convoy for the U boats to find, doubling the area doesn't double the perimeter meaning each escort has less area to patrol and therefore more likely to pick up a Uboat. Also with limited number of torpedoes more ships are likely to survive an attack as compared with attacks on 2 convoys.

Edit: Corrected a few typos - RS
« Last Edit: June 26, 2020, 11:28:15 am by Red Squirrel » Logged
Trowres
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« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2020, 11:34:07 am »

Don't conflate analysis with report-writing. They are not the same thing.
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broadgage
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2020, 04:06:51 pm »

I feel that in many respects we spend far too much time and money on analysing, studying, consulting, and reporting, rather than getting on and actually doing something.

HS2 is a good example, decades of study which is still ongoing.

And this culture is not confined to the railways, but is a national disease. As an example there is a fairly general acceptance that climate change is a serious problem, yet actual action is rather lacking.
How many electric tram schemes have been studied and reported upon, and how many have been built.
How many reports into zero carbon housing, and how many such homes have been built.

If anything looks like getting built, time to call for reports on a more radical alternative that pushes actual construction further into the future.
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2020, 05:44:23 pm »

Similar to eightf48544 post, Churchill (not in fashion at present) always said it must be one side of foolscap or less. Writing briefly is a rarely practiced art nowadays. When a document has a 100 page summary I am afraid I have better things to do with my time, at work or otherwise.
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grahame
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2020, 05:59:34 pm »

Writing briefly is a rarely practiced art nowadays.

Twitter?
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eightf48544
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2020, 09:21:21 am »

Twitter too brief look at the problems it causes.

I probably haven't expressed myself properly about the absence of Sytems Analysis, you only have to look at the numerous poorly design websites around to see what I mean. Facebook IMO
is one of the worst.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2020, 05:47:13 pm »

Similar to eightf48544 post, Churchill (not in fashion at present) always said it must be one side of foolscap or less. Writing briefly is a rarely practiced art nowadays. When a document has a 100 page summary I am afraid I have better things to do with my time, at work or otherwise.

There could be  reason for that.

When I was wading through archive council minutes back to the late 19th century in the Wiltshire Records Office some 20 years ago. it was striking how much more concise and to the point minutes were in the days before they started to type them (c1930)

It is far quicker to type rather than write out minutes in longhand, and computer keyboards have only exacerbated the situation.
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