Things gone wrong

OSS has a bad name amongst many of our customers. Yes, even though they invest billions in our industry each year. Do they consider us a necessary evil?

Quality, dependability, repeatability. These are the catch-cries of success in many industries. TGW (things gone wrong) per million or per thousand are common metrics that are the bellweather of attaining success (or not).

Do we have such metrics in OSS? How would we fare against other industries – our failure rates against airlines, manufacturing, automotive, medical, etc?

To be honest, I don’t think we’d rate well. Some might claim that we are more nascent (less mature) but perhaps only a couple of decades younger?

I believe it stems from the fact we have so many things that are always left to do, meaning that we don’t have the chance to reach for the same lofty quality goals yet (or perhaps it’s just that our things gone wrong rarely result in fatalities?)

We’re trying to deliver so much functionality that we rarely have time to go back and improve existing functionality unless there’s a bug. If we deliver a capability we have move on to building the next capability as the to-do list is so long.

Does this mean our customers can’t trust our industry for quality, dependability, repeatability?

I wonder whether we need to narrow our scope to give our customers top-level quality, dependability, repeatability and attentiveness?

Just pondering a comparison here… Has the auto industry managed to drastically reduced their tgw per million through their collaboration? Sub-contracting parts (electronics, shockers, tyres, etc) to produce a better quality whole with each contributor focussing on improving quality of their parts.

Is John Reilly’s value fabric our only possibility for achieving much loftier goals as an industry? If so, it does tie into the Christmas tree model I’ve discussed previously.

More tomorrow.

Read the Passionate About OSS blog for more.

2 thoughts on “Things gone wrong

  1. I feel the biggest factor contributing to this is the Fast growing industry demands. Agree with you that OSS has got lots to offer and not all aspects of it are completely utilized or delivered. But on other had the entire OSS industry has failed to cope up new technology changes that happens in the telco industry. Lets take an example – we all knew the SDN world coming but was OSS industry prepared for it? I feel not. There are various other examples where the OSS industry has not seen to be successful.
    I feel we need some methodology and standards for OSS which will draw the boundary and also enable customer to understand and realize full potential of OSS. Just my 2 cents.

  2. Great points Pinkesh.
    It’s a catch-22 situation. For network developers, OSS is an afterthought. But OSS are the only way that new networks / services can be efficiently operationalised so we need to be plugged in earlier…. if only we weren’t so tied up on all the existing activities.
    SDN is the prime example as you pointed out, acknowledging that some work is underway on projects like TM Forum’s ZOOM.

    I believe there are many different angles on TGW. Yours is a great one. Another is data quality. Another is code spread and market fragmentation. The responsibility-mix of TGW between vendors/integrators vs customers…and many more.

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