Maintenance work is maintenance work — working with systems

Today I met an old friend of mine who works in maintenance. As in maintaining the facilities of a large shopping mall, not maintaining or creating software systems like most of my friends do.

It was funny to have a conversation with him about work, as there where so many similarities though contexts are so different.

  • No specifications
  • Wrong specifications
  • Locally optimised systems
  • Lack of responsibility and understanding of the whole system and interactions between different elements
  • No tacit information passed about the history from previous vendor

And in all that people are trying to do the best they can, openly communicating and inspecting the system(s) as they interact with the system(s) and take better care and responsibility about it’s future.

Reminded me immediately about lectures David Ing has given about systems sciences in different contexts. So if you haven’t already watched videos about his great lectures, I highly recommend spending some time on those… As you will never know where the lessons might resonate and help you understand the world better.

Kategoria(t): digital, life, technology. Lisää kestolinkki kirjanmerkkeihisi.

2 vastausta artikkeliin: Maintenance work is maintenance work — working with systems

  1. daviding sanoo:

    Heimo, thanks for suggesting my research to others. Yes, software development and real estate operations are in the domain of the new field of service science, of which some of us see systems thinking as a way of learning from one type of service to another. Analytical thinkers tend to focus on the differences, but there is much to be learned from commonalities.

  2. huima sanoo:


    The interesting point for me in this discussion was the similarities and the skills and thinking that was required from modern maintenance workers. And how similar day to day problems were in our projects and development.

    Though my friend has not spent years in schools, he has always had a sharp head on his shoulders and that was also visible in his thinking how he described their life and problems in the system – even though he did not use language of service science or lean systems we understood each other perfectly.

    And as I am a story teller at hear this encounter proved to be a good basis for stories that I can use in my work while discussing with people what we are doing, why we are doing it and how we are doing it.


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