Attitude to Operational Failure: Deliberate Downtime

There are a number of interesting organisational approaches around operational failure that have emerged. The previously held belief was that organisations should do everything to prevent operational failure and that this 'prevention rather than cure' approach would best prepare organisations.

Interestingly we are not sure that this did the job intended. Rather, for the last few decades, organisations attempted to protect themselves from operational failure whilst almost regarding failures themselves to be an anathema and of little use.

A number of best practice organisations, however, have adopted a different approach. They are deliberately disabling their systems in order to build robustness. In this almost 'antifragility' approach, organisations like Netflix have built their Simian Army toolset, where aspects like the Chaos Monkey will deliberately take down network nodes.

These organisations are building their ability to cope with risks and unknowns through embracing the risk event itself, rather than trying to ensure they never see it and thus forming a blind spot in that area.

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