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Overengineering
Overengineering
Blog: From the Director
Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2012

“Overengineering” is anathema to most product manufacturers. Generally, manufacturers desire to put no more time and money into a product than is necessary. They decide upon a reasonable lifespan for a product, and then they use materials and parts that, with rare exception, have been proven to last that long.  They do not care to produce a product that lasts longer than the consumer desires; they do not want to invest resources where they won’t see a return.

An exception to this general rule is invoked by those manufacturing products which, if they break, will kill or maim people.  Airplanes are the classic example:  they’re built with multiple redundancies and with materials and parts that have been tested to last much longer than necessary. The potential for catastrophic loss of life demands this. They will use a part that’s tested to last 20 years, and replace it after ten years just to be safe.

I suspect that some observers of the MHSAA’s recent campaign to increase sports safety training for coaches and modify playing rules that may endanger participants are critical that we’re asking too much, that we’re doing more than is necessary. But frankly, that’s exactly what we intend.  When it comes to participant safety, overengineering of policies and procedures ought to be our goal.

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