Friday, April 24, 2009

How to Apply Leonardo Da Vinci’s Scientific Method to System Development?

I will start by re-quoting Leonardo (cited in my previous post):

first I shall do some experiments before I proceed farther, because my intention is to cite experience first and then with reasoning show why such experience is bound to operate in such a way. And this is the true rule by which those who speculate about the effects of nature must proceed.

Leonardo Da Vinci, 1514

System development should go through continuous cycles of development, observing and reasoning. Let me explain:

I am proposing to consider system development in its broadest meaning. Whether you are devising a new process to handle your diabetic patients, opening a new clinic or developing an educational pamphlet.

Observing and reasoning. Observe broadly, in a non-reductionist fashion. Then, try to find explanations for your observations. Use logic, statistics, evidence based medicine, or any other reasonable method to reason to speculate about the observed effects.

Then, start a new cycle.

There are two differences between this proposed method and the famous "Plan-Do-Check-Act" process improvement method:

1. The emphases on broad detailed observation. Something similar to Leonardo’s famous detailed observation.

2. Although we naturally try to reason _an example is our propensity to create cause and effect relationship_, "Plan-Do-Check-Act" does not emphasize reasoning and making speculations.

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