Is Device Reliability Enough?
Join Chris and Fred as they discuss the need to look between devices for the rest of the reliability story. What do we mean by ‘between devices?’ Well we are increasingly focusing on the delivery of a service … and not the system. If (for example) Amazon starts using drones to deliver packages to customers. Do customers care if the drone carrying their package stopped working – but another drone comes along, picks up the package and still delivers it on time? The answer is no. So instead of focusing on the reliability of the drones, we need to focus on the reliability of the service the drones provide.
Yet many ‘sophisticated’ customers struggle with this. For example, militaries tend to focus on the total number of vehicles, weapon systems, aircraft or ships they have in total. And this makes sense for bureaucratic organizations that want to know how much money they need to spend ‘now’ … and how many warehouses they need and so on. But it misses the point – militaries (at least when it comes to winning wars and battles) actually focus on the number of ‘available’ vehicles, ships and aircraft … or the probability that a certain number of weapon systems destroy a target. Which always brings us back to the reliability of the service (or function) … and not just the system.
- Focusing on the customer experience. Device reliability is part of the puzzle. While failure definition is important, does the customer’s idea of failure different to the design team’s idea? If so, you have a problem waiting to happen.
- Working out if you need to talk about the reliability of a ‘service’ and not the reliability of a ‘device.’ System reliability comprises hardware, software and human factors. But it all about what the system (or number of systems) is supposed to collectively provide.
- So what is reliability? A couple of ideas on understanding system reliability beyond just device reliability are also discussed.
- Fearing the unknown often means ‘failure panic.’ What do we fear (for example) the most about autonomous vehicles? Is it having a computer drive a vehicle and not a human? Well the numbers show that we need to fear humans more than computers. Around 96 per cent of road deaths are caused by human error. Humans tend to overstate the problems of something new, and understate the problems of something familiar.
Enjoy an episode of Speaking of Reliability. Where you can join friends as they discuss reliability topics. Join us as we discuss topics ranging from design for reliability techniques, to field data analysis approaches.