What was the "sequential approach" and what did it refer to in October Sky?

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Quentin feels that everything should be done in order, they have to only change one thing at a time so that they can measure the effect of the change without it being complicated by the addition of other changes.  He first talks about this when they are mixing fuel for the rockets and they experiment with putting the powder into bottles rather than being able to build the fancy device Quentin has designed.

He continues to suggest that this is an important part of their approach as they start to add fins or change the engineering of the rockets and again complains when the engineers at the mine make some changes without consulting the boys.

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