13 August 2017

Two Technical Contradictions

Observed two "technical contradictions" in the style of TRIZ at work the other day:

We want to show the user all of this data, but to most users it won't be useful and we don't have the space on the webpage.

We want the performance benefits that this unsafe optimization give us, but we observe that this unsafe optimization is causing a huge amount of incorrect behavior (much greater than we expected when we enabled it).

The first was resolved by proposing to pick out the important bits of information for the user, bring those to attention on the main page, and  then making details available on request.

The performance / correctness tradeoff was temporarily resolved with preference to correctness, but has not yet been fully resolved because we do not understand the root cause of the incorrectness caused by the optimization (and this flows into TRIZ's root cause analysis procedure).

But it's curious that I noticed these contradictions in terms of TRIZ, especially both on the same day, and having not read or thought about TRIZ in some months.  This is particularly curious because I've been reading up on John Gall and systemantics, which suggest that TRIZ (as a system) is precisely not what you want if you want to get results (which agrees with general intuition - the US outperformed the Soviet Union at research with a much less structured approach, though there are an infinitude of confounding factors).

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