Conflict and Complexity

Abstract:An analysis of the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster conducted shortly after the accident revealed a chain of cause and effect that led to the tragic event. There was no shortage of quality assurance tools and best practices being used by NASA, but the chain that caused the disaster was impervious to nearly all known quality tools available at the time. That is because tools designed for process improvement do not necessarily apply to complex systems. Problem solving in complex systems requires systems tools that are broader in scope than process tools and address a wider variety of situations. The logical thinking process reflected in the principles of TRIZ is effective in complex system policy problems that don't lend themselves to quantification. Had this and other of today's proven scientific methods been available, policy makers could have avoided the events that led to the disaster that claimed the lives of seven …

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