February 14, 2012

The Importance of Keeping It Simple, Stupid!

By Patrick Mahan
Because it’s Valentine’s Day, the KISS principle seemed like a good topic to wrap our arms around.
You’ve heard of the KISS principle, right?  “Keep it simple, stupid.”
But do you know where the phrase originated?
And -- most importantly -- do you know how can it help YOU become more efficient and achieve better results in less time than ever before?
The acronym was created by Kelly Johnson, an engineer at Lockheed Martin and lead designer of some of the most famous military aircrafts.

Johnson understood the importance of keeping his designs as simple as possible, but he was not suggesting that people are stupid. As the story goes, Johnson handed his engineers a box of tools and challenged them to design an aircraft that could be easily repaired by an average mechanic under intense combat conditions using only these tools.

In the same way, it’s important to keep your goals and solutions as simple as possible because, as we all know, things are easier said than done. It’s one thing to write out your goals and strategic plans on paper... but it’s an entirely different challenge to actually follow through and execute those plans.

Therefore, as the KISS principle suggests, simplicity should be the #1 consideration when designing your systems, goals, plans and solutions because ultimately, the simplicity of your plan has the greatest influence on your success or failure.

In 1142, William of Ockham, a famous British philosopher said, "The simplest and most direct solution, requiring the fewest number of steps, is usually the correct solution to any problem."

"The more complicated the solution, the less likely it is ever to be implemented and the longer it takes to achieve results." - Brian Tracy

"It seems that perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." - Antoine de Saint-Exuper

Have you set your goals and plans for 2012?

If so, take another look.  Is there anything you can simplify? Can you break down your plans into smaller steps? Can you eliminate some of the steps all together?
Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle

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