Thursday, December 12, 2013

Total optimization and subopitimization (1)

There are two words describing the goal of an attempt of adjustment: Total optimization and Suboptimization.

Suboptimization is a status in which most components are effectively working in a certain part of the whole organization. However, this word is always used to describe a malfunction, in contrast to total optimization. In other words, the concurrence of suboptimization often causes a total failure.

For example, imagine the situation that each department of one company is eager to gain much more money. The sales department is willing to optimize the items. The advertisement department optimizes the budget to emphasize a certain content. The management department cuts human resource to minimize related cost. After all, the result is far from satisfactory. The reason is that lack of the connection between each department due to loss of communication.

There is one more example relevant to my job. An old woman visited a hospital with common cold. The doctor prescribed her antibiotics. Actually, antibiotics have no effect on viral infection. Nonetheless, it is justified in some situations, for instance, for a patient who are vulnerable to dual infection. Thus, many doctors tend to prescribe antibiotics for the patient to avoid the worst scenario. However, excessive use of antibiotics can grow up some strong mutative bacteria. When antibiotics-resistant one is spread to a ward of a hospital, many patients will die. This is a disparate consequence.

Then, can you reject using antibiotics to your grandmother, if it would result in her immediate death? Nobody would agree. It is a dilemma. Human is not strong enough to accept their own sacrifice for total optimization in the future.

Therefore, total optimization should be developed by a political power. Distribution of resource, no-profit department, and investment for the future are needed to be determined in the headquarter. The leader is responsible for these decisions.

I think that one of the weaknesses of Japan is maladjustment of this matter. There are two topic among them: playing managers and reverse adaptation.

(To be continued)

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