Structured Thinking System: Entities

When a thing has been said and well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it.
Anatole France

Here is the final version of the STS Entities:

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And here are the STS Entities abstracted:

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So what have I accomplished? What I have done is defined the six fundamental motives (Green Coat column), the six fundamental personas (Blue Coat column), the six fundamental objects (White Coat column), the six fundamental methods (Yellow Coat column) , the six fundamental locales (Black Coat column) and the six fundamental moments (Red Coat column) of the human experience. These are the entities of the Structured Thinking System. Alternatively, I have defined the six focuses of the creativity perspective (Green Hat row), the six focuses of the relativity perspective (Blue Hat row), the six focuses of the objectivity perspective (White Hat row), the six focuses of the optimicity perspective (Yellow Hat row), the six focuses of the pessimicity perspective (Black Hat row) and the six focuses of the intuitivity perspective (Red Hat row).

Don’t expect to understand this post without at least visiting these Related Links:

Six Hats, Six Coats and Knowledge Management

I was passed this link to a free Knowledge Management Course by a friend today.

I gave the entire course a read (it is not that long) and concluded that there was only one thing that the course covered that is not covered by the Six Hats, Six Coats as it has been explained so far. The issue is valuation, how do we know the cost/benefit of any fact. Otherwise, the authors wave the term “knowledge” around with little restraint to the point of its being meaningless. If they had it their way, everything would be knowledge. (I’ve been known to rant that everything is objects.)

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To perform valuation of the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework, facts are each of the Six Coats columns: Motive, Locale, Object, Method, Person and Moment. Each of these can be reduced to their atomic granularity at the Blue Hat perspective row. One additional row can be added to the bottom, which is the benefit per manipulation. Each of the Six Hats is a row and can be accumulated in a seventh column, which is the cost per perspective. Each cell of the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework has a cost when it is created, but the benefit accumulates with each manipulation of its column at the Blue Hat level and is rolled up to the appropriate cell.

The rest of the Knowledge Management concepts are covered by the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework.

The Six Hats, Six Coats Framework provides not only knowledge. The Six Hats provide:

  1. Green Hat: Wisdom. Conceptualization. Creativity.
  2. Yellow Hat: Knowledge. Contextualization. Relativity.
  3. White Hat: Information. Logicalization. Optimicity.
  4. Black Hat: Data. Physicalization. Pessimicity.
  5. Red Hat: Regulation. Humanization. Anthropicity.
  6. Blue Hat: Conduction. Detectors and Effectors. Synchronicity.

The Six Hats, Six Coats Framework gives a clear definition of knowledge. Meta-Knowledge is the modeled relationships between the each of the entities within a system. This is the entity relationship diagrams for the facts. Knowledge is the actual references between each of the instances within a system. This is the actual database containing the facts. A rule relationship model, a node relationship model, a data relationship model, a function relationship model, a person relationship model and an event relationship model are meta-knowledge. Rule instance references, node instance references, data instance references, function instance references, person instance references and event instance references are knowledge.

“Mentifacts” and “Sociofacts” are obtuse terms. Person associations are extragroup, intergroup, intragroup, extrapersonal, interpersonal and intrapersonal. They are different perspectives a human takes to interaction and the adoption of facts from another system. Motive, locale, object, method, person and moment are all artifacts, better termed entities.

The definitions the course offers: “Know-what”, “Know-why”, “Know-how”, “Know-who” is incomplete and ill defined.

  1. Yellow Hat, Green Coat is Know-why. Contextual Motive.
  2. Yellow Hat, Yellow Coat is Know-where. Contextual Locale.
  3. Yellow Hat, White Coat is Know-what. Contextual Object.
  4. Yellow Hat, Black Coat is Know-how. Contextual Method.
  5. Yellow Hat, Red Coat is Know-who. Contextual Person.
  6. Yellow Hat, Blue Coat is Know-when. Contextual Moment.

Knowledge management is not simply Informal and Formal. Knowledge Management can be Implicit, Explicit, Tacit and Sonit. Implicit knowledge management handles knowledge that is documented and unchanging in the organization. Explicit knowledge management handles knowledge that is documented and changing. Tacit knowledge management handles knowledge that is undocumented and unchanging. Sonit knowledge management handles knowledge that is undocumented and changing.

The Six Hats, Six Coats Framework does not use the metaphor of a factory for knowledge processing. Instead the framework uses a system lifecycle of induction and deduction. The system repeats, refines, records, reports, relates and revises input; and revises, relates, reports, records, refines and repeats output. Only during the relate phase is input or output knowledge.

The concept of knowledge claims, I found intriguing, but confused between what is meta-knowledge and what is knowledge. I could only conclude that a knowledge claim is really a meta-knowledge claim. Validation of references, knowledge, is protected by referential integrity. A meta-knowledge claim would be validated by a corroboration of exceptions.

The quality of meta-knowledge is a question of how well the relationships for the dimensions handle input and output. If the probability of no exceptions is high the quality of the meta-knowledge is high. A change in context is a change in interacting systems and will affect the quality of an entire system’s performance not just one of its dimensions or of only its knowledge.

Validation of a system is not only knowledge validation. Validation of Conduction, Regulation, Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom are all necessary excercises. Because no system is completely Implicit, Explicit, Tacit or Sonit there will always be room for normal and exceptional input and output that has not been accounted for.

Knowledge has intrapolative predictive capabilities. Wisdom has extrapolative predictive capabilities. From this course Knowledge Management appears to know little about systems at all.

The course also attempts to use the three layer ANSI model of World, Knowledge, Meta-Knowledge to describe itself. I have no problem with that. However, because of the poor definition of knowledge in the first place the author begins fantasizing about endless additional layers. I have only found there needs to be three layers in every case I’ve tested. There is the world, the referential and the relational layers.

The sixth lesson of the course talks about innovation as the goal of Knowledge Management. I beg to differ. Innovation is a completely different perspective in the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework. Innovation is the Green Hat, conceptualization perspective. Knowledge assists conceptualization, however conceptualization is concerned with the entities of each of the fact dimensions, not the relationships. Relationships are interpolative, they can only exist between entities that exist. Entities are extrapolative, they can come into existence out of nothing and do not depend upon relationships to exist.

As far as the seventh section, Metrics, goes there is ultimately a cost/benefit ratio. All other metrics are irrelevant if the cost/benefit is done correctly. Cost is the expenditure required to build each cell, each model, of the system framework down to the atomic level. Benefit is the profit gained from each manipulation of the system at the atomic level.

“Knowledge Transfer” is the ability of your system to induct another system and then deduct with a profitable outcome.

You don’t need a Knowledge Management Team. You need a System Modeling Team and the Six Hats, Six Coats Framework. “Everything is a system” holds up to scrutiny better than any knowledge management claim.

Black Coat: Business Process Modeling Resources

In my reading today I came across two great resources.

The first is the Business Process Modeling Institute.

“BPMinstitute.org is a peer-to-peer exchange for business process management professionals and is hosted by BrainStorm Group, a trusted source of unbiased information and education on BPM, Workflow and Integration related issues since 1997.

BPMinstitute.org has been established in response to the demand for education and peer exchange on all aspects surrounding business process computing.

By leveraging the collective genius of our members, industry Thought Leaders and experienced practitioners, we endeavor to expedite the adoption and implementation of business process management solutions and practices.

Our mission is to facilitate knowledge sharing amongst BPM professionals on a 365/24/7 basis, as well as providing insight to the latest development and advancements through real-world case studies.”

The second is Bruce Silver’s BPMS Watch blog.

“BPMS Watch is one analyst’s view of business process management software – the technology and products, the issues, emerging trends, and the seemingly aimless wanderings of the BPMS vendors. BPMS Watch is written by Bruce Silver, an independent industry analyst and consultant focused exclusively since 1994 on BPM and content management software.

The blog is intended to work at two levels. The first is analytical and opinionated: What is BPM, anyway? What are the forces, technological and economic, propelling it forward, and what are the forces, cultural and commerical, arrayed against it? Why are the standards so controversial and, to some, completely misguided? Most important, who’s doing really cool things right now that make a difference? The goal is thought leadership and spirited debate, mostly among current inhabitants of the still-small BPM blogosphere.

The second is education and advocacy, aimed at those trying to learn what BPM is all about, what goes into a BPMS, and how to pick the right one for their organization. That’s an audience I already speak to in my 2006 BPMS Report, my Brainstorm BPM and SOA conference presentations and training, my BPMS Watch column on BPMInstitute.org, my Change Agent column in Intelligent Enterprise, and numerous white papers on www.brsilver.com. The blog will try to engage those folks as well.”

black coat business process modeling resources

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Business Modeling White Papers

The Zachman Framework states there are six focuses to any system. I have searched the web and have come up with white papers I feel best address each of these focuses. I also correlate them with my Six Coats metaphor:

Green Coat: Business Motivation Model from the Business Rules Group

Yellow Coat: Business Network Model (could not find an example)

White Coat: Business Data Model from Embarcadero Technologies

Black Coat: Business Process Model from the Business Process Management Initiative

Red Coat: Business Person Model from Cooper

Blue Coat: Business Event Model from IBM (Closest I could find)

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Green Hatting a Website

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Green Hatting in the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor is about the conceptual perspective of a system.  Edward de Bono calls this the creative hat.

Green Hats take the feedback provided by the other five hats and look for the an opportunity to improve the quality of life, right a wrong or prevent the end of something good. In the Green Hat perspective designers evaluate goals, networks, data, processes, people and times that could, should or would exist. Green Hat conceptual design is used by the Yellow Hat contextual design team.

Like the other hats, the Green Hat is worn with each of the Six Coats. The basic question is what is the greatest benefit we can offer.

Green Hat, Green Coat: What is our meaning?

Green Hat, Yellow Coat: Why are we navigating?

Green Hat, White Coat: Why do we need data?

Green Hat, Black Coat: Why do we process?

Green Hat, Red Coat: Why are we personas?

Green Hat, Blue Coat: Why do we need convenience?

Green Hat also has a reverse purpose when variances occur in the transacting system. Green Hats decide how to handle a opportunity which is to insert a new product or service for the system to accomodate the exception. The buck stops here.

Yellow Hatting a Website

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Yellow Hatting in the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor is about the contextual perspective of a system.  Edward de Bono does not have a hat for this perspective.

Yellow Hats take the conceptual design provided by the Green Hats and look for the niche market. In the Yellow Hat perspective designers evaluate goals, networks, data, processes, people and times that require products or services within the conceptual domain. Yellow Hat contextual design is used by the White Hat logical design team.

Like the other hats, the Yellow Hat is worn with each of the Six Coats. The basic question is what is the most unique product or service we can make available within the conceptual domain.

Yellow Hat, Green Coat: What is our unique product or service mantra?

Yellow Hat, Yellow Coat: Where are we navigating?

Yellow Hat, White Coat: Where is our data?

Yellow Hat, Black Coat: Where are our processes?

Yellow Hat, Red Coat: Where are our personas?

Yellow Hat, Blue Coat: Where are we convenient?

Yellow Hat also has a reverse purpose when variances occur in the transacting system. Yellow Hats decide how to handle a deviation which is to select a new product or service for the system to accomodate the exception or to escalate it up to the Green Hats.

White Hatting a Website

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White Hatting in the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor is about the logical perspective of a system.  Edward de Bono calls this the optimist’s hat.

White Hats take the contextual design provided by the Yellow Hats and exprore it to its full extent. In the White Hat perspective designers optimize goals, networks, data, processes, people and times to theoretical limits. White Hat logical design is used by the Black Hat physical design team.

Like the other hats, the White Hat is worn with each of the Six Coats. The basic question is what are the logical limits within the context.

White Hat, Green Coat: How do we achieve maximum value for the customer?

White Hat, Yellow Coat: What are we navigating?

White Hat, White Coat: What is our data?

White Hat, Black Coat: What are our processes?

White Hat, Red Coat: What are our personas?

White Hat, Blue Coat: What is our peak performance?

White Hat also has a reverse purpose when variances occur in the transacting system. White Hats decide how to handle a variance which is to alter the system to accomodate the exception or to escalate it up to the Yellow Hats.

Black Hatting a Website

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Black Hatting in the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor has is not primarily about security, although it could be included. Black Hatting is about the physical perspective of a system.  Edward de Bono calls it the pessimist’s hat.

In the Black Hat perspective engineers determine the economics of goals, networks, data, processes, people and times. As part of the economics they will choose goals, hardware, databases, software, personas and performance metrics and place constraints on the logical design created by the White Hats. Black Hat design is used by the Red Hat implementation team.

Like the other hats, the Black Hat is worn with each of the Six Coats. The basic question is what logic can we support economically and where do we cut back?:

Black Hat, Green Coat: What is our business model?  Margin.

Black Hat, Yellow Coat: How do we navigate?  Compromise.

Black Hat, White Coat: How is our data organized?  Denormalization.

Black Hat, Black Coat: How do we process? Deoptimize.

Black Hat, Red Coat: How do we serve our personas? Satisfice.

Black Hat, Blue Coat: How do we meet performance requirements? Juggle the other hats.

Basically, Black Hat is about taking the ideal system and bending and trimming it until it is a design that can be implemented with the resources economically available. Black Hat also has a reverse purpose when exceptions occur in the transacting system. Black Hats decide how to handle an exception which is to reject the exception or to escalate it up to the White Hats.

Black Hatting is not for the faint of heart. It involves negotiation with the White Hats and often having to settle for less than the best. However, as the resources represented by each of the Six Coats is democratized and made freely available, the Black Hat job is becoming increasingly simpler for websites. Of course, this is not the case for all systems.

Red Hatting a Website

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No, this does not have anything to do with Linux. This is the Red Hat of the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor. In the last post I discussed the Six Hats, Six Coats Blue Hat which has nothing to do with Microsoft. The Red Hat is about the closeness to the intuition of the user. It is about the implementation of your own system. What transactions are intuitive and what transactions are counter-intuitive.  I alternatively call this the Mechanical perspective, because it deals with the mechanism the Green Hat, Yellow Hat, White Hat and Black Hat end up creating.  Edward de Bono also calls this the intuition hat.

Red Hat, Green Coat: How do we lower the barriers to adoption?  Intuition.

Red Hat, Yellow Coat: Who navigates our site? How do you support each browser?

Red Hat, White Coat: Who accesses our data? What DDL and DML will you have to write?

Red Hat, Black Coat: Who uses our processes? What approach will be taken to coding?

Red Hat, Red Coat: Who are the personas we are serving? How do you achieve the site aesthetics?

Red Hat, Blue Coat: Who is setting our performance requirements? What can achieve your performance goals?

Each of these implementations has implications for your website design. It will impact the positioning and emphasis of each of your website’s elements as well as your website’s behavior when those elements are employed. It will affect the overall look and feel of the site. When you are working in the Red Hat perspective you are asking yourself, “How do I implement ‘business as usual’?” You will have dealt with all the possibilities in the White Hat perspective and all the probabilities in the Black Hat perspective. Anything that defies your user’s intuition will be escalated back up to the Black Hats as exceptions. If there is a trend in the exceptions it will be escalated up to the White Hats as a variance. If there is a trend to the variances it will be escalated to the Yellow Hats as a deviation. And if the deviation is great enough it will be brought to the Green Hats as an opportunity.

The Six Hats metaphor can be used for any system. I plan to branch out my examples over time.

Blue Hatting a Website

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Blue Hat in the Six Hats, Six Coats metaphor deals with convenience.  Blue Hat is the first impression your traffic gets–convenience of goals, networks, data, processes, people and times.  When it comes to the web, if any of these aspects of convenience are not met you are going to lose traffic before anything is captured by your website’s system.  Let’s look at each of these aspects in turn.  Edward de Bono calls this the data hat.

Blue Hat, Green Coat:  When are the the goals of the site clearly communicated.   This is the message your evangelists are getting out and getting out often.  Be it an SEO or a customer.

Blue Hat, Yellow Coat:  When is the site navigated?  If your audience is getting a garbled presentation on their browser, they are not going to stick around to figure it out.

Blue Hat, White Coat:  When is the data accessed?  Tables of data that obfuscate information through redundancy cause users eyes to glaze over and their index fingers to click the back button.

Blue Hat, Black Coat:  When are the processes activated?  Maintain a sense of orientation as any action is executed or the user will abort.

Blue Hat, Red Coat:  When do the personas use the site?  Don’t be innovative if your users are averse to innovation.

Blue Hat, Blue Coat: When is performance required?  If you are taking too long to load flash or dowload data and traffic is cutting and running it’s time to consider communicating in different formats or increasing bandwidth.

This is Blue Hat for a website.  Blue Hat metaphors are equally applicable in any system you are working with be it business, government, not-for-profits, media or technology.