Critical Reasoning- Slack

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Critical Reasoning- Slack

In times when expectations can change at the drop of a hat, flexibility is as important as speed. However, in their zeal for efficiency, some organizations have engineered out all the slack they can from their businesses at the expense of agility. As Tom DeMarco puts it in his book Slack, ‘An organization that can accelerate but not change direction is like a car that can speed up but not steer. In the short run, it makes lots of progress in whatever direction it happened to be going. In the long run, it’s just another road wreck.’

Which of the options below conveys the main idea of the paragraph best?

  1. Only organizations that are not very efficient can adapt to change well.
  2. Too little slack in organizations is as bad for innovation as too much slack.
  3. Reducing slack to zero can cost businesses their adaptability to change.
  4. Business processes without slack slow down an organization’s progress.

    • Correct Answer
      Choice C

    Detailed Solution

    This paragraph argues that organizations that engineer out all the slack from their businesses in order to become super-efficient do so at the expense of their flexibility and adaptability to change. Option (c) sums up this idea well.

    Option (a) states that only organizations that are not very efficient can adapt to change well. This is not what the paragraph says. The paragraph argues against super-efficiency in organizations. But to say that lack of slack can reduce flexibility is not the same as saying that an organization has to be inefficient to adapt to change “well”.

    Option (b) can also be ruled out, as it brings in a new idea: innovation. The paragraph only mentions flexibility, agility and ability of organizations to meet expectations that can change at the drop of a hat.

    Option (d) talks of business processes without slack “slowing down” an organization’s “progress”. The paragraph given doesn’t talk of organizational “progress”. In fact, it argues against cutting down slack in order to increase speed and efficiency.

    Among the options given, option (c) summarizes the main idea of the paragraph best.

    Correct Answer: Choice (c)

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