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> A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system. - John Gall

Mr Gall wrote a book about complex systems and how they fail back in the 70's and most of it (from what I recall it's been a while since I read it) applies as much now as it did then, it's a very good read.

Thanks for the book recommendation. Just had a Google and it looks great! Added to Amazon wish list

You are Welcome, It's genuinely excellent, be warned though once you've read it you'll see what it discusses everywhere.

For large organisations it's a bit like getting a look at Oz behind the curtain :)

Amazon has three books listed about systems by John Gall that look very similar, is there a specific one that you're talking about? or would recommend to start with?


"Systemantics" is the original classic. "Systems Bible" is the same book, foolishly renamed, but otherwise great. That's the edition to start with.

Another Systemantics person! I profoundly wish that I had been exposed to this book during my education. Most traditional engineering education deals with predictable, small, compartmentalized systems. But the real world is none of these things, and engineering is the struggle to bring some semblance of order to chaos. Systemantics really outlines just what you can and can't expect out of any engineered system, and it stays in my head like a little crystal of knowledge that I draw from time and time again.

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