May 2006

We should be able to model an organisation as a set of co-operating systems and processes. What would happen if we wrote a program as an abstract model of an organisation? Certainly one can write a highly abstract model/program consisting on one class which takes as input money and returns money but this doesn’t have much use (apart from illustrative maybe). Is it possible though to wrote a program that tells us something meaningful?

And if that program were to be written could we then use current refactoring tools on that program and have the results reflected in the organisation. If we could write this program would it be able to tell us interesting things? For example, would be able to draw boundaries of some sort for each department or would it all be such a mess that it would not be able to cleave one department from another? (If you can’t draw a boundary how can you ever outsource or indeed simplify).

Could we, in writing this program, learn about the existing APIS formal and informal between departments - if we could how could we simplify them? Would be even need a program to do this?

If you structure and understand an organisation as a formal model what do you miss? You miss the value-created and maintained by ad-hoc relationships and conversations (maybe where the real value of any company resides)? (Who was it that said something like take my company, my money and my buildings but leave me the people and I will build it all back up again in a year)? But does this matter if you can make the core efficient and save time and money to then concentrate on the conversational aspects?

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