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UCD-STAFFORDBEER  February 2008

UCD-STAFFORDBEER February 2008

Subject:

Re: Flight software testing

From:

allenna leonard <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Forum dedicated to the work of Stafford Beer <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 8 Feb 2008 08:12:17 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (241 lines)

Dear Boris,

Yes, these concerns do need to be incorporated in
System Five but I DID mean the top of the organization
in the standard hierarchical frame because many
organizations operating safety critical systems are
run that way.  If the executives aren't on board it
doesn't happen.

My personal and inconsequential experience of this was
working on the ninth and top floor of an older
building in the offices of a university.  Several of
us were considered to be a major pain in the butt
because we complained every time we smelled smoke from
the aging air conditioning system.  Our complaints
were shut down and the problem wasn't fixed.  In this
case there was no fire, but not all situations where
the people at the top do not want to go to the trouble
or expense of sorting out risk reports end with
nothing happening.

Allenna


--- "Boris G Freesman, Q.C." <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Allena,
> 
> Thank you for your clarity.
> 
> The 5 choices that you enumerated seem neatly to
> "map onto" the essentials of the VSM... systemic
> ultrastability looked at through a different lens.
> 
> Plus intuition and awareness, which are not so much
> a function or choice of systemic structure and
> process, but speak to the consciousness of the human
> beings that compose the system... which, I think, is
> the fundamental message of "Chronicles of Wizard
> Prang."
> 
> But I must "protest" your unfortunate choice of
> language in "They have to be endorsed at the very
> top of the organization." Have we accidentally
> slipped into a hierarchic model? Surely you mean
> System 5! ( ;-}>
> 
> And I echo your endorsement of Javier's
> observations. Ultimately, whether risk management,
> decision, control or whatever function or aspect of
> systemic performance is under consideration, it is a
> question of information management.
> 
> Through yet another lens, I venture to say that
> systemic viability or ultrastability (these two
> words, more and more each day, seem to mean more and
> more the same thing!) depends upon the clarity and
> ease with which a system (i) records and (ii)
> organizes the data and information it receives, and
> (iii) accesses and (iv) transmits or shares the data
> and information it sends out. That is, upon the
> richness of information exchange and flow. 
> 
> Boris
>  
> 
>  
>   ----- Original Message ----- 
>   From: allenna leonard 
>   To: [log in to unmask] 
>   Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 2:18 PM
>   Subject: Re: Flight software testing
> 
> 
>   Hi All,
> 
>   Just realized that one or more of you might know
> where
>   Stafford's student Jo(sephine) Hancock might be
>   reached.  She might be on an allumni list for the
>   University of Wales/Swansea (graduating 90's) and
>   might have a married name of Locke now.
> 
>   I'm trying to contact her about exchanging her TSI
>   share for one in the new company.
> 
>   All the best,
>   Allenna 
> 
> 
>   --- allenna leonard <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> 
>   > Dear All,
>   > 
>   > I've been away and am trying to pick up on some
> of
>   > the
>   > different threads.
>   > 
>   > Here are two prosaic observations.
>   > 
>   > First, safety system address everything from
>   > deterministic (including but not limited to
>   > mechanical) through probabalistic to complex or
>   > chaotic. 
>   > 
>   > At the complexity end, redundancy helps but
> isn't
>   > enough.  I want to mention the seven models of
> risk
>   > from the Canadian Institute of Chartered
> Accountants
>   > publication "Learning about RIsk: choices,
>   > connections
>   > and competencies" by William Bradshaw and Alan
>   > Willis.
>   > They are framed as choices:
>   > 
>   > Leadership choices,
>   > Operational and control choices
>   > Strategic choices
>   > Crisis choices
>   > Resilince and survival choices
>   > Intuition
>   > Decision to be aware.
>   > 
>   > Most of these are in the area of soft power (as
> is
>   > Gavin de Becker's "THe GIft of Fear"). They have
> to
>   > be
>   > endorsed at the very top of the organization and
>   > spread throughout, and the reward system in
> place
>   > has
>   > to support them.
>   > 
>   > I'd echo what Javier said about asking everyone
> to
>   > ascertain not just the facts, but the
> assumptions
>   > and
>   > attitudes around them.  Some in the audit field
>   > refer
>   > to this as 'self-assessment', and include from
> 50%
>   > to
>   > 100% of the employees.  Syntegration and other
> group
>   > processes help here too.
>   > 
>   > A final plug for the whistleblower, the
> messenger
>   > with
>   > bad news and the investigator with the
> 'auditor's
>   > nose'.  Until these people are valued, a greater
>   > element of risk will exist than would otherwise
> be
>   > the
>   > case.
>   > 
>   > THinking about the financial sector, you don't
>   > really
>   > need a background in finance to know that a big
> load
>   > of subprime mortgages is inherently unstable or
> that
>   > if the results are 'too good to be true', they
>   > probably aren't.  
>   > 
>   > Best,
>   > Allenna
>   > 
>   > 
>   > 
>   > 
>   > 
>   > 
>   > 
>   > --- Nick Green <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>   > 
>   > > New Scientist this week (9/2/2008) reviews.
>   > National
>   > > Academy of Science did a report last year on
>   > flight
>   > > bugs.  The Radio Technical Commission for
>   > > Aeronautics sets DO-178B standards for
> discovering
>   > > "modified condition/decision coverage" (MCDC)
> but
>   > > "MCDC testing is not removing any significant
>   > number
>   > > of bugs" says Martin Thomas. C, C++,
> assembler,
>   > and
>   > > Ada are the languages involved and they can
>   > produce
>   > > ambiguity. Better languages seems the way
> forward.
>   > > 
>   > > Best
>   > > N.
>   > > 
>   > > For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>   > > For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working
>   > Environment
>   > > (MCWE) go to:  www.platformforchange.org
>   > > 
>   > > 
>   > > 
>   > 
>   > 
>   > 
>   >      
>   >
>  
>
____________________________________________________________________________________
>   > Never miss a thing.  Make Yahoo your home page. 
>   > http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs
>   > 
>   > For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
>   > For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working
> Environment
>   > (MCWE) go to:  www.platformforchange.org
> 
=== message truncated ===



      ____________________________________________________________________________________
Be a better friend, newshound, and 
know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile.  Try it now.  http://mobile.yahoo.com/;_ylt=Ahu06i62sR8HDtDypao8Wcj9tAcJ 

For more information go to: www.metaphorum.org
For the Metaphorum Collaborative Working Environment (MCWE) go to:  www.platformforchange.org

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