Seth's Blog: What do you do when your systems break?

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Another inspiring blog from Seth Godin.

Seth’s Blog: What do you do when your systems break?

As someone who is vaguely involved in building systems, I really like the idea that we should be designing BROKEN buttons. 

It’s not going to be easy though. Systems are designed because A has to happen before B so that C is authorised and the logged as D so that an audit trail exists.

As I read it Seth’s BROKEN button cuts through all the checks and sorts out the customer’s problem. This is a good thing. But we still need to design the system to capture this in the audit trail, and acknowledge the fact that the agent/supervisor has just gone off-piste.

And what happens when the trigger that is C in the example above, which normally goes off to eight places to enable ‘things’, doesn’t get triggered properly. The customer may end up in a system which appears to have done what it should, but in actual fact is even more broken than before.

Thoughts welcome!

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/conchur/1054192789/

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