Posted on:Oct 212011
Faced with a problem that cannot be ignored, budget and deadline constraints often push well-meaning decision makers toward the fastest, cheapest fix. A quick fix treats the symptoms, but rarely addresses the underlying problem. This pattern is described by the “shifting the burden” systems archetype. Decision makers recognize a problem and see two possible courses of action. One is a symptomatic approach, which appears to be quicker and cheaper. The other is a fundamental approach, which requires more expenditure and time. Taking the quicker, cheaper route alleviates the symptoms, at least for a while. However, it also draws time, attention, and investment away from the fundamental solution.