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The Clear Pipe

There are three key properties that a clear pipe possesses that emulate how systems and processes should work.

  1. What goes in must come out: Like water, information flows. In plumbing, pipes ensure water is contained and consistently flowing. In a systems infrastructure, data should flow similarly. Importantly, the entryway into the pipe should be the same size as the exit. This disallows oversized or unfit data to infiltrate the system and keeps any of the data from getting stuck inside the pipes.
  2. You can see through it: To me, this is its most important attribute. This transparency allows for anyone anywhere to see inside of the pipe at any time. This universal surveillance of what is actually happening inside the pipes establishes processes designed to optimize efficiencies and call out questionable behaviors as they happen.
  3. More pipes can be connected: How do you scale piping? It’s actually quite simple. When you know one pipe is doing the trick, you remember that the pipe itself was designed to connect to clones of itself. Connect a pipe on either side and watch the system expand.

These characteristics can be applied to any system. We just have to realize there is enough of an incentive to redo the plumbing.

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