Monday, 15 April 2019

Occam's razor

I wrote recently about the canonical principle and how I think it can be applied to school management. The canonical principle works hand with Occam's razor in beginning to strip away many of the problems that can bedevil systems in schools. 

Put simply (there is no other way!) William of Occam's principle boils down to this:

It is a principle that can be applied to almost any organisational problem, and it works wonders. And the more organisations rely on computers for their functioning, the more important the principle becomes. As this article explains:

"Every time you increase the complexity of a system, you increase the opportunity for something to go wrong in its design."

Developing this theme, another TechRepublic article quotes Antoine de Saint-Exupery as having said:

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

Damn right, I say. Less is almost always more. When it comes to thinking about systems and processes, keep it simple. Avoid the clamour for piling more policies, more software, more consultants, more money - more whatever really - to fix problems with systems. Have a 'parsimonious shave' instead!