altMethod R is a fast, effective, commonsense approach to optimizing a system. It was first documented in the book Optimizing Oracle Performancealt by Method R founding members Cary Millsap and Jeff Holt.

Method R prescribes four simple steps:

  1. Identify the task that's the most important to you.
  2. Measure its response time (R). In detail.
  3. Optimize that response time in the most economically efficient way.
  4. Repeat until your system is economically optimal.

Method R was first described in courseware written in 1999 through 2002 by Method R founder Cary Millsap and chief scientist Jeff Holt, before they finished the bookalt in 2003, for which Cary and Jeff were named Oracle Magazine 2004 Author of the Year. Method R is described in Chapter 1, which you can read for free.

Method R has been used extensively at Oracle sites throughout the 2000s, with tremendous success.

Although Method R was first documented in an Oracle context, its usefulness extends far beyond that Oracle context. In fact, the definition of Method R does not refer specifically to Oracle, databases, or even computers.