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| less than a minute read

Occam/Ockham's razor

On a couple of occasions this week, I ended up falling down a rabbit hole, rather than stepping back to consider the bigger picture and identify the simplest (and inevitably correct) explanations, for the issues at hand. 

In essence, Occam or Ockham's razor (the spelling of which seems to be interchangeable), is a helpful problem-solving principal (also called law of economy or law of parsimony), which posits that the most simple explanation is usually the correct one.

Occam's razor is applied to a wide range of disciplines, including religion, physics, and medicine, in which a variation called the "Zebra" is often employed: a physician should reject an exotic medical diagnosis when a more commonplace explanation is more likely, derived from Theodore Woodward's dictum "When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses not zebras".

In summary, I am adopting Occam/Ockham's razor as the mantra for my daily work life! 

.. if there are several possible ways something might have happened, the way which uses the fewest guesses is probably the correct one.


e2e, best practice, leadership