Sometimes designing focuses too much on the details and forgets to look at the bigger picture - and the customer.
In a recent commentary in the local paper the columnist said that most people agree that the hospital and health care industries are in trouble. Specifically, a report by the Institute of Medicine says that emergency care in the US is on the verge of collapse because of overcrowding and the lack of expertise to treat patients in a safe, timely and efficient manner. The report went on to say that we need Congress to create a federal agency to fix the problem. The columnist opined that we didn't need another bureaucracy that we threw money at because that isn't a solution but a boondoggle. What we do need is systems thinking that looks at how you and your work connect to the system. It starts with the hospital thinking of the patient first because when that happens, other concerns take care of themselves. This systems approach was employed at some hospitals and it reduced health care costs by as much as one-half. You can find out more about this at managementwisdom.com.
Of course, this made me think about design engineers and the sometimes microscopic vision they must have to complete a task. Unfortunately, this lends itself to a myopic view of the overall design, missing the bigger system view. This ties in directly to another article in EDA Tech Forum by analyst Malcolm Penn, CEO of Future Horizons, who said in his article Powering the third digital electronics revolution that solutions, not technology are what's important to the third digital wave. He goes on to say that complexity is holding the industry back, and that simplicity is now the technology imperative. The old adage, keep it simple stupid comes to mind. Now, the important part is to figure out how to accomplish this simplicity in a highly complex technology. Oh, that's simple, you just keep your focus on the patient or in this case, the customer.