Thursday, May 25, 2017
The difference between "Robust" and "Resilience"
A resilient process is a process that can absorb variation that is GREATER than anticipated and still produce an output that is acceptable or approaches prior standards of what was acceptable.
You might anticipate a maximum of 15% absenteeism. How will your enterprise function if you have 70% absenteeism? Will you be able to turn a wheel?
You might anticipate 15% of your accounts being more than 60 days in arrears. How will your enterprise function when you have 60% of your accounts in arrears?
You might anticipate no difficulty in arranging for transportation of your incoming materials and your finished goods. Do you have a plan in the event that you can only arrange 30% of your transportation needs for three weeks?
You probably see the common thread. Resilient systems are able to absorb disruptions in critical inputs that are one or two orders of magnitude larger than what is "anticipated".
In some cases it is due to a pre-planning; plans to run in "degrade" mode.
In other cases it is the mental agility to substitute resources (In WWI machine gunners used urine to cool their weapons thereby avoiding being over run by the enemy).
In other cases it is the discovery of "buffers" as strategy.
In other cases it is a willingness to negotiate standards of acceptability with your customers.