Double Loop Learning - an Example

In: Business and Management

Submitted By cjomon
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DOUBLE LOOP LEARNING – AN EXPERIENCE
This example is a bit too technical, but as I believe that this is a good example from my experience about double loop learning (we used to call this as “Thinking outside the Box”), thought of putting it the least technical form as possible.
I was working as a software architect in a particular client’s team. That software system was pretty old and matured (the system was in existence for the past 20 years) and hence we used to treat the existing guidelines in use as the best available. As the system consisted of several hundred independent software programs (also known as modules), each of those has to pass a huge amount of data (names, addresses, other program related data etc.) between them during the operation. As a standard and also to ensure conformity, they used to employ a pre-defined structure to pass data (which will have a fixed size limit with each field having specific starting and ending locations. for e.g.: For address, the first name will be there in the first 30 characters of that structure and middle name will be coming in the next 30 and then comes the last name, followed by address line 1 and 2, each of which is 35 characters in length etc.). The flip side of this is that, even though you are introducing a new field in this predefined structure only for a couple of modules in this 700+ modules system, you will have to modify all the 700+ components to be able to maintain the same structure across, as else, the data positions will get messed up between the changed and unchanged modules. This was such a headache for every software project happening. So, they have put a rule that, anyone introducing a single change to the structure of data will have to change every program, so as to avoid issues. This caused even a simple software project, which was supposed to do a very small modification, also to change all…...

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