An Antifragile System Concept

It took me a while to get my breath under control again. A page view explosion to 40.000 responding to Sascha's programming comparison. A little related to our hybrid programming concept:

Aaron Brown wrote another brilliant article in the Mar-14 Wilmott Magazine. A review of Nate Silver's book, the signal and the noise. A great book with one blind spot: tail events (when discussing the financial crisis). Not surprisingly, its is about Black Swans, and the trap of modeling uncertainty as casino game. (NN Taleb called it lucid fallacy)

Recently, I wrote about antifragilty and the problem of tightly coupled complex systems and the cage of strategic planning.

Today I read towards an antifragile IT strategy - in Kailash Awati's Eight to Late.

Take advantage from options we do not know yet

It is about the impossibility to predict the future in detail. How can you make a strategic plan without that?

The trick is to plan with options that we we do not know now (like real options relating to project size, life and timing, as well as operation). (Real) options usually increase the value of a project - they capture the value of managerial flexibility in a world of uncertainty.

Suggestions for an antifragile IT strategy

Decentralization - give structural units authority
Agility - be prepared to change regimes
Diversification - diversify system elements that may be effected by uncertainty
Creating an environment of trust - if you have multi-strategy, multi-methods and multi-skills you need trust

What is true for the process is true for the system

In a tightly coupled organization you do not plan for possibilities but industrialization.

A tightly coupled complex system, usually result of such a process, does also not increase the number of choices and the emergence of an unexpected event can become horrible.

So, diversify and decentralize your system, make it agile by increasing its adaptability. Make intelligent independent system components that are accurate and robust, but flexible. Let them co-exist and co-evolute.

This may raise the eyebrows of the system centralizers, integrators, top-downers … but it is correct.

There is no such horrible operational risk than a tightly coupled organization with tightly coupled complex systems. It never becomes stronger when stressed.

Picture from sehfelder