From the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, methods for organizing for service engagements at scale were developed at IBM. Although this investment in knowledge management was huge, changes in the organization by the late-2000s saw this rich body of intellectual capital practically disappear. Appreciation for the framework remains in the memories of practitioners in the IBM Global Services organization — particularly the methodologists — immersed during that period. Some foundational historical artifacts can be rediscovered on the open Internet:
The resemblance to pattern language, as prescribed by Christoper Alexander, is not accidental. Excerpts from these three sources are provided here, to entice readers who might seek out the full articles.
1. Configurable Development Processes (2002)
The Work Product based methods started in IBM at the rise of object-oriented methods. With OO as a new paradigm, incompatibilities across the variety of approaches frustrated clients trying to get work done. The end results seemed pretty much the same. The resolution for IBM came through centering on ends (work products) first, and means (techniques) second. The methods originating in software development became cross-appropriated into services engagement for other domain offerings (e.g. business strategy, organizational change). Read more...(2556 words, 7 images, estimated 10:13 mins reading time)
One of my millennial sons has framed IBM as “the Google of my generation”. My career path included assignments and visits to the IBM Advanced Business Institute, in Palisades, NY. Mentions of that team, and the Palisades Executive Conference Center where it was located, have mostly disappeared from the Internet. As one of the younger IBM professionals to have known the ABI, I can provide some history. (If friends want to correct me, I welcome that!)
1. The Palisades Executive Conference Center opened in 1989
2. The Executive Consulting Institute from 1993 was instrumental in education for IBM Consulting Group
3. The Advanced Business Institute offered courses for customer executives 1989-2004
1. The Palisades Executive Conference Center opened in 1989
IBM Palisades is not to be confused with the IBM Learning Centre in Armonk, that was opened in 1979, a facility primarily for the (internal) management development of IBM executives. IBM Palisades is also not the Thornwood Conference Center in Westchester County, opened in 1985, that was more often used for customer technical briefings. Read more...(2857 words, 10 images, estimated 11:26 mins reading time)
In what ways might the generation of wholeness through pattern language be strengthened, through an appreciation of advances in the systems sciences? A workshop at the 2018 International PUARL Conference was an opportunity to review linkages and discuss some details.
An outline to frame the conversation was written in three parts.
1. Communicative Framing
1.1 Form and synthesis
1.2 Organization as semi-lattice
1.3 Systems generating systems
1.4 Generative patterns and non-generative patterns in software development
1.5 System-A and system-B, as two ways of shaping and building living environments
1.6 Holons (from systems ecology)
2. Dialectical Sensemaking
2.1 Types of systems and models
2.2 Autopoiesis and allopoiesis
2.3 Economies as agricultural, industrial and services (coproduction)
3. Narrative Synthesizing
In full, the abstract read:
Does a pattern language generate into (a) whole(s)? This workshop will discuss the meaning of architecting a system, complemented with recent research from the systems sciences.
In 1967, at the formation for Center for Environmental Structure, Pattern Manual specified that (sub)systems are fewer in number (and implicitly larger) than patterns: Read more...(571 words, 1 image, estimated 2:17 mins reading time)
With a visit of one week at IBM Research Almaden with @rarar and @jimspohrer , I was invited to give a talk. As an IBM alumnus who was active in pattern language community from the mid-1990s, this was an occasion to surface some history of science about activities inside the company that is otherwise opaque. This history shapes my aspirations and predispositions towards continuing the development of pattern language in new domains.
3. 2014 → … : Wicked Messes→Service Systems Thinking
Here’s the abstract sent in advance of my arrival:
Pattern language has its origins from architects of built physical environments. The approach was cross-appropriated into software development methods at the rise of object-oriented design, and was influential in the emerging styles with agile practices. The idea has been extended into social change. Are the philosophical foundations from the 1960s-1970s appropriate for the 21st century era of service science, and innovations in augmented intelligence? Read more...(643 words, 1 image, estimated 2:34 mins reading time)
An invitation as a keynote presenter at the 2018 International Conference on Smart Cities and Urban Design (SCUD) was initiated on a recommendation by Susu Nousala to the program chair WU Jing. Blending the conference theme with my recent doctoral research, I proposed the topic “Innovation Learning for Sustainability: What’s smarter for urban systems”? For a 30-minute slot, the agenda was covered in three sections:
1. Smarter Systems
2. Sustainability + Service Systems Science
3. Innovation Learning
The first section derived from the history of smarter cities and the cognitive era from IBM, blended with the co-respondence of Tim Ingold. The second section considered sustainability from an ecological anthropology approach, then service systems and commitments. The third section drew in the normative framework from Open Innovation Learning.
For streaming, the video is accessible on Youtube.
For offline devices, downloadable audio is available, including a digitally boosted volume version.
A young man stares out a window and the caption reads “Bus windows: the ultimate philosophy school.” writes #MarkKingwell All the canonical philosophers of boredom have believed that boredom was eventually edifying – a painful experience that, like mortality itself, educates and enhances the mind. Because we’re all addicts of our own desires for stimulation, […]
Provocative statement by Canadian automobile reviewer. > There isn’t now and likely never will be enough electricity available worldwide to replace all the petroleum for the vehicles we currently drive.> And given that at least in Canada, only 11 per cent of fossil fuel emissions come from passenger vehicles (that’s not from some climate-change-denying website […]
Lecture on "Are Systems Changes Different from System + Change?" at #OCADU_SFI #SystemicDesign master's, web video and digital audio now at http://coevolving.com/blogs/index.php/archive/are-systems-changes-different-from-system-change/ . Lecture of 1h18m covered 37 of 55 slides, all online for #SystemsChange #SystemsThinking #theoryofchange
The 2019-2020 fires in Australia are associated with a slow history of human activity. > Three hours north, in Sydney, the air quality was worse than in Jakarta. [....] > There is no doubt that the fires are growing more ferocious. Even without the changing climate, it would be inevitable; 250 years of land mismanagement […]
> ... a fascinating study by Javier Miranda, principal economist at the U.S. Census Bureau; Benjamin Jones, professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University; and Pierre Azoulay, professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. They took a detailed look at the demographics […]
Two ways of thinking about practice put (i) “plans as determinants of action”, and (ii) “plans as resources for action”. The latter has become a convention, particularly through research into Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Computer Supported Collaborative Work (CSCW). While the more durable explanation appears the Suchman (1987) book (specifically section “8.2 Plans as […]
Does “the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago and the second best time is now” date back further than 1988? It is time to look long and hard at the value of the urban forest and create the broad-based efforts — in research, funding and citizen participation — needed to improve […]
Workshop led by @RohanAlexander and @prof_lyons at #CASCONxEvoke on "Barriers to Data Science Adoption: Why Existing Frameworks Aren't Working". For discussion purposes the challenges are grouped within three themes: regulatory; investment; and workforce.
“You are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts” by #DanielPatrickMoynihan is predated on @Freakonomics by #BernardMBaruch 1950 “Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts”. Source: “There Are Opinions, And Then There Are Facts” | Fred Shapiro […]
Satire can be an antidote, says Prof. #PaulBabbitt @muleriders , to #bullshit (c.f. rhetoric; hypocrisy; crocodile tears; propaganda; intellectual dishonesty; politeness, etiquette and civility; commonsense and conventional wisdom; symbolic votes; platitudes and valence issues).
Social ecology and environmental psychology described @dstokols @Social_Ecology , interviewed by @katiepatrick . References #WilliamsJames on attention. Book on Social Ecology in the Digital Age released in 2018.Read more ›
Concerns on #personaldata should be reframed as interpersonal, says @sheldrake , less the nodes and more the edge connections. “I want to take back control” superficial, @hartzog says control doesn’t scale. Agency is about negotiation in the world, more rhizomatic…Read more ›
Doing science should be wayfinding (pathfinding), says #TimIngold , gaining grounding in the art of paying attention, towards research as the pursuit of truth. Truth is more than objective facts, where science and art are embraced with materials, so that we can see the quality inside the natural world as it forms, rather than as […]
We should be more vigourous, says @MazzucatoM , in debating differences between value extraction and value creation, and between profits and rents. Lecture at Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford U., January 2019Read more ›
Most destructive analogy last 100 years @DavidGelernter @econtalker : Post-Turing thinkers decided that brains were organic computers, that computation was a perfect model of what minds do ... and that mind relates to brain as software relates to computer Read more ›