Solving the problem, or getting to the root of the problem

This is a methodology that I try to incorporate into my daily life. It’s just a small sliver of the Toyota Production System

But basically any time that I can I like to try to fix the root of the problem instead of the problem (symptom) itself. Chances are getting to the root will take more time upfront, but later down the road it will pay off.

My recent example was some conversion of XML to X12 code using Altova Mapforce. It sent out some code that was missing data since the item wasn’t in the DB yet. Of course the quick fix is to get the item into the DB. The more permanent fix was to get altova to throw an exception when the count of the incoming items didn’t match the outgoing count. Now I can take this logic and apply it elsewhere.


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