Safety Net
By Michael Hedgpeth · June 6, 2014
Safety Net

Late last year I began seriously working on improving how we deliver updates to our software to restaurants. One of the most interesting parts about my job is how many aspects of technology become incredibly difficult when you have a Chef twenty feet away instead of a data center technician in a lab coat. Updates are no exception: the operation of the restaurant itself is at stake, and we must get it right.

So how do you improve something like that? Believe me, this was something that was keeping me up at night. The problem is the huge amount of risk involved in anything going wrong in the restaurant operations, but at the same time the huge operational benefit improving it.

The insight we found was that before making a change that has risk, build a safety net to ensure that the change will have the desired effect. Build quality into the system, and you’ll be able to make the needed changes to the system. Otherwise, you’re dead when the first problem hits, and you’ll never recover.

This insight relates to so many areas of life and business:

When doingcreate safety with
Software developmentautomated unit and integration tests
A budgetliving on last month’s income
A healthy marriagegoing on a date and having fun together
A college classa study group
A business ideaseeing if it can be profitable on the side

A safety net is a critical aspect of any system I create today. The bigger the risk involved, the more I strive to include safety in the solution we create.

What safety nets have you created in your solutions? Have you ever created too much of a safety net?