“The hole and the patch should be commensurate.” – Thomas Jefferson

Positive Quote: “The hole and the patch should be commensurate.” – Thomas Jefferson


I like this quote, it reminds me that when patching something (fixing it, updating it, enhancing it) that the patch should address the actual issue, the root issue and not just the symptoms. It is too easy to get sidetracked by trying to make the symptom go away and not fix the root cause. When this happens, new symptoms pop up or come back.


There are many examples I could use to choose from for illustrative purposes. For example: say you have a process (job) that runs at the end of the day to reconcile two systems together and every so often (more often than is prudent) the systems don’t match and the files are rejected. Some may put a script or process in place with an if/then statement… if this happens then do this…. To force the files to reconcile and on the backend have a person or system go line by line to reconcile. When this happens, the symptom and effort have moved from one location to another, while the root cause was not addressed. It turned out that after analysis that the reason the reconciliation failed was that the receiving system was not designed to handle items in the file with > 5 digits (which was a rare occurrence at the time). Sometimes, we have to step back and ask ourselves if we are using the right systems, are they designed for the true purpose and most importantly we should not build processes and procedures around a tool or application. The tool or application should meet the needs and requirements of the business or be updated (modified) to meet the needs.


What do you think?


Have a tremendous Tuesday.



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