Fixing Things Once


Introduction.  Clearly, fixing something once is better than fixing it over and over again.  It is also better to figure out how to fix something once so that you at worst have to repeat something similar elsewhere.  Though if you can move towards an even greater root cause you may not have to repeat even this more than once.

There are a variety of relevant restatements of this

  • Fix something once rather than over and over again
  • Fix the problem permanently
  • Don't reinvent the  wheel
  • Fix the problem for all hosts at the same time
  • Avoid the temporary fix trap
  • Don't just use band aid solutions
  • Measure twice, cut once and other advice from carpenters

It may seem easier to do a quick fix, particularly for things that just pop up.  But things really need to be fixed in ways based on understanding to prepare for their recurrence on the same machine or on others.

Unfortunately, some times temporary fixes are required due to resource constraints.  It is important that temporary fixes are followed by something more substantive.  This may best be done by filling out a help desk ticket for the problem or filling out some other sort of ticket to make sure the greater issue gets addressed in the not too distant future.

Fixing the same small things over and over can be habit forming and somewhat satisfying.  But people can get so consumed in repeating quick fixes they actually start consuming significant portions of their time!

Again, as usual, if fixing it can realistically be automated then time should be spent to develop the automation to do this.  This is obviously more important as problems have the potential to be more widespread.  But unfortunately, this is rarely the case.  Maybe the automation can be implemented with the next upgrade or can be implemented with each new install so that you will cease to run into the difficulties in the future on at least these machines.