The Ghost in the Machine

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Presented by

John Willis, Senior Director ,Global Transformation Office, Red Hat\

About this talk

When we are talking about one of this year's themes for TOCICO being “Standing on the Shoulder of Giants” it makes sense to talk about a common enemy of flow - “Ghost in the Machine”. Whether we are talking about Walter Shewhart, Edwards Deming, Claude Shannon, or Eliyahu Goldratt, the “Ghost” is always non-deterministic noise. In fact, in Beyond the Goal, Goldratt points this out on how physicists think differently, making the comment that Dr. Deming and himself were both educated physicists. Actually, Shewhart was also an educated physicist. Shannon’s PHD was pretty close as it was in ‘Algebra for Theoretical Genetics”. They all had different practices and theories but they all approached the problem in a common way. The point being that they all were well versed in the Theory of Errors and what could be called a non-deterministic way of thinking. The “noise” for Shewhart and Deming was variation, for Shannon it was signal noise, and for Goldratt it was local optimization and bottlenecks. In this presentation we are going to cover a brief history and parallels of how “noise” has been managed over the years all the way to modern DevOps and DevSecops operations. We will show how Statistical Process Control, Information Theory, and Theory of Constraints all align against one common enemy – The Ghost in the Machine that is Noise.

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