Archives For implicit design assumptions

An articulated guess beats an unspoken assumption

Frederick Brooks

A point that Fred Brooks makes in his recent work the Design of Design is that it’s wiser to explicitly make specific assumptions, even if that entails guessing the values, rather than leave the assumption un-stated and vague because ‘we just don’t know’. Brooks notes that while specific and explicit assumptions may be questioned, implicit and vague ones definitely won’t be. If a critical aspect of your design rests upon such fuzzy unarticulated assumptions, then the results can be dire.

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The Titanic effect

27/09/2010 — 5 Comments

So why did the Titanic sink? The reason highlights the role of implicit design assumptions in complex accidents and the interaction of design with operations of safety critical systems

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