Describing the amorphous

Our processes support the definite.  They struggle with the more amorphous.  It is difficult to use our processes to conceptualise.

This always catches me out.  I am a person who likes to do his thinking in public.  I like to come to meetings with half-baked ideas.  I want to use the discussions to help shape them, to make them better or at least head them off at the pass.  This is a lean start-up kind of approach.  Others like it when the ideas are fully formed. They want a simple A or B option.  I like a rough block of stone while others like a David.

This is not a problem when we want to replace one system with another for example.  It is easy to project the outcome.  It does become an issue however, when it is more complicated or we want to implement an array of systems.

Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) is a good example, where we want to build a cluster of tools around an existing core application.  The relationship between the old and the new is not that complicated but needs explanation.  We want to put things together in a shape that has not been seen here before.  In this case, a simple document does not work.  It needs discussion.

Yet this is not the way we work.  Our processes to formulate ideas works by agreeing reports at meetings.  It focusses on having the options laid out in front of us.  In this instance though we need to take a layered approach.  We need to build up the strata of understanding and lay the foundations of the concept that we are wanting to build.

This is a time consuming process. It is much easier to simply say what we are doing and ride the storm until it settles down yet lasting and meaningful change can only come about if the people come with you and they are involved in shaping their own destiny.

Well that’s what I believe anyway.

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