January 5, 2008

Seeing It Soon Enough

I received a request from a friend to help analyze a difficult situation.

The fountain head of the problem is a series of decisions made three years ago, in 1995. From that fountain head flows a river.

Over the course of three years' of additional decisions or lack of decisions, tributaries and run offs and waterfalls have added volume and speed and inevitability to the flow.

Today it is too late to build a damn.

Changing the course of the flow
nearly would be impossible.

The good news is

(1) we were able to compile data, model the future, make some interpretations, coolly accept economic realities, and identify several paths to take,
(2) an option has become available that would be of equal help to my friend and to the third party, and
(3) numbers 1 and 2, above, happened soon enough.

Reminds me of what Mike Leavitt said, as quoted by Washintonpost.com:

"There is a time in the life of every problem when it is big enough to see but small enough to solve."