Monday, April 27, 2009

The K.I.S.S. Principle In Action

I firmly believe in the K.I.S.S. Principle (Keep It Simple Stupid!).

Way back in the mid 80's and old guy name Walt at then Martin Marietta taught me the Principle, and I've used it ever since. The idea is to keep things as simple as possible, making them no more complicated than they absolutely have to be.


Around that same time (mid 80's) me and my friend Joe (a fellow engineer) had to go to the Ocala plant to fill in for another engineer (who could not go for some unrecalled reason) to get an ESS Station (Environmental Stress Screening) up and running. Well, it turns out that the station violated the K.I.S.S. BIG TIME. The idea was to vibration test 18 circuit boards at the same time. The buffoon designer of the vibration fixture had it where you mount the circuit boards to be tested onto backplates, and then slide the fixture slots, and then hydraulically clamp the backplates into place.

Trouble was, the vibration data showed that unclamping and reclamping the backplates got totally different vibration data from previous data, meaning the clusterf... of a vibration fixture was totally unusable. The sheot hit the fan when we reported the problem to Management.

So, Joe and I did some research, and found out that they needed to test nowhere near 18 cards at a time; that testing only 6 cards at a time was just fine. So we designed a simple, solid block, that held 3 card on front and 3 on the back. Worked perfectly!

Applying the K.I.S.S. Principle to other aspects of life, I find that it is best to believe in what is real, rather than in what "might" be real. Life is too short to chase your tail over stuff that might not even be real.


arcturus88 said...

many "simple" people and many complex people search for that which is beyond what they can see or touch, and God can reach us at our most base (simple) existence and at our at highest (most complex) cognitive level.

to blanketly apply the kiss principle to all things seems a little limiting.

Aufgeblassen said...

The Principle does indeed apply to ALL things; why have ANYTHING more complicated than it needs to be? If you can think of an example, please give - thx.

arcturus88 said...

the human body is a complex organism. fighting cancer may require a complex cure. your approach is in essence to deny the complexity of life.

in your approach the human body may be simply a blob of cells, ignoring all the complexity of structure, interactions, nuances.


cancer would be best approached by putting a KISS bandaid on it.

complexity exists. youre not adding complexity to it by acknowleding that it exists.

“Three reasons problems are inevitable; first, we live in a world of growing complexity and diversity; second, we interact with people; and third, we cannot control all the situation we face.”

John C. Maxwell