Many times throughout my career, when investigating a particular problem, people have made comments along the lines of:
“But we’re the [Insert any industry name here] industry, our problems are unique, no-one has the same problems”
“The challenges of [Insert any job title] are different, no other role has these challenges”
Is this a valid assertion?
If you focus on the specific details of any situation or role, then you are likely to encounter combinations of problems and challenges that are rare or unique, however, in almost all circumstances many of the general aspects of a problem are not unique. You can therefore compare approaches and methodologies with other industries and sectors in order to identify proven approaches that can be adopted.
For example, whilst rail is a complex industry, one project I managed successfully utilised industry wide standards and approaches from other sectors when considering strategies for remote condition monitoring in order to develop an improved strategy.
Similarly, when working in the water industry, old timers frequently stated the “This is sewage treatment, it’s different” but in reality there were still many similarities to other sectors and approaches.
Are there any industries or sectors that are so different that you cannot adopt approaches from elsewhere?