Murphy or Logistic?

Murphy hold a special place in my heart because he is present in my everyday life since I have memory. In the last lesson we discussed about it, but seems he might not rule our lives. Can we defeat my dearest companion of misadventures? And If yes, how?

Since I believe in reason, I could not help it but started looking for proof.

First, a little introduction: Who is Murphy?

Murphy can be summarized in the proposition that if something can go wrong it will. An addition to this law reads: and usually at the worst time. This law is referred to Major Edward Aloysius Murphy Jr, an USAF engineer who was working on instrumentation for an aerospace medical research program, MX981. It used high speed rocked sleds to examine human tolerance to acceleration and deceleration. The human in this case was John Paul Stapp, and he was the one who committed to make these tests. It was not easy or safe at all, since he ended up having black eyes, because the eye-balls punched their eye-lids and other serious injuries. From this experiment, Murphy developed a more accurate guide and measurement of deceleration.


This is the video with the experiment.


If Murphy is based on a pessimistic view than maybe a positive attitude can win against him?

There is not the need to believe in a change for this change to occur. In libraries, there are plenty of books such as “Change your thoughts and your life will follow but this kind of book make me rather skeptical, I prefer a more rational view.

Can, then, maybe, a great organization, like in the case of logistic, defeat my dearest friend?

Logistic means also being organized, are these organization principles helpful?

The development of the so-called standard procedures in regular business processes is the first step when designing a new organization. The company need then to allocate functions to the single stations and adaptation of the different processes. There are, still, always those irregular processes, necessary to cope with such as: incorrect data, resources or employees, things that are often ignored or neglected. Then this organization is not enough.

My dear Murphy is still there.  The organization should also follow the Safety Principle which is the one that by flexible precautions for coping with errors, failures and irregularities the organization must be completed and made safe.

But the more a system is complex the more is difficult to organize and make it safe. Even by the most advanced simulations such systems cannot be improved substantially.

The Decoupling Principle which by inserting adequate material buffers or order buffers a logistic system can be separated into decupled system and stations, which are not critically affected by tailbacks, feedback and interruptions.

If this principle is observed than the decupled subsystem and performance stations can schedule independently and execute the orders they receive from outside the company, from adjacent station or from another center. A complex system needs all these principles to work properly: the delegation, the subsidiarity and the decoupling principle. A potential analysis reveals that whether these principles are observed in a company their disregard indicated organizational weak point points which can be eliminated within short time.


Seems than my dear Friend can be defeated using these principles, but I am also sure he will always try to find a way into our lives, so do not worry too much, he will be back. 😉



Comprehensive Logistic, Timm Gudheus, Herbert Kotzab, Springer Edition.


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