Research

Vision, goals and programs

“It will be a sad day for man when nobody is allowed to ask questions that do not have any answers.”
 - Kenneth Boulding. 1956. General Systems Theory – The Skeleton of Science. Management Science. 2(3):197-218

Research is not about discovery of the known, but the unknown for which we use the sheen of our intellect to attempt to illuminate our path.  And thus in our discovery, we find evolutionary paths that lead us to places from which we find new beginnings and reciprocal endings… only to discover that to know is not to know.

Our basic research strategy rests on the need for sound scholarly and academic pursuits - understanding what people are saying about systems and making sense of this. To this end we strive to correspond with leading thinkers/authors and share with them our own thoughts/white papers/published work.
 
Our promotional component for our research strategy builds upon scholarly networking with the Exterior and cluster maturing with the Interior but is exemplified by our Thoughts, Words, and Deeds. Our goal is to be recognized leaders in the Worlds of Systems and to find ways to tie our bodies of knowledge with practical issues and concerns in a broad range of industry/commerce.

PET DREAMS

Our inability to respond effectively to disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, given the sobering experiences of 9/11, points to serious fractures in the way agencies cooperate, collaborate and communicate. Endeavors to render assistance appear to be fundamentally counter-productive as each gets in the way of others’ efforts, by acts of both commission and omission. These constituent agencies represent, as a collective, neither an effective nor an efficient extended enterprise. Since there is no reason why this malaise should persist, its acceptance in the public view cannot be taken for granted nor for that matter long tolerated. By contrast, it would appear that commerce has grasped the nettle of enterprise alignment and process optimization to which the plethora of new products and knowledge advances in architectural innovation testifies. Nevertheless, even this sector can ill afford to rest on its laurels with consumer thirst for innovation seemingly unquenchable. Process Envisioning Tool (PET) and Dynamic Enterprise Architecture Management System (DREAMS) (DREAMS_Approved_USformat.pdf) are research tools that allow for the modeling of resiliency optimization by detailing the development of a generic platform for designing resilience into enterprises and particularly extended enterprises formed by the essential convergence of multiple agencies. These platforms have their origins in advanced engineering design serving the goal of enterprise integration of several original equipment manufactures (OEMs).

Dynamic Resilient Enterprise Architecture Management System (DREAMS)

  • Develop a shared understanding of the extended enterprise as an operationally coherent whole;
  • Understand the behaviors of constituent elements of the extended enterprise and how these behaviors depend on: heritage, capability, knowledge, working relationships, data & knowledge transfers, IT legacy systems, and mission drivers;
  • Determine an optimally efficient process and supporting means for the extended enterprise to work together as a coherent whole;
  • Provide a comprehensive set of deliverables to: facilitate the implementation of the optimally efficient process and its supporting means; and maximize dissemination of process understanding in a wide variety of extended enterprises

Dynamic Resilient Enterprise Architecture Management System

Enterprise Readiness

Due to the expansion of extended enterprises in all industries, it is becoming abundantly clear that suppliers cannot be marshaled from a central position, but must rather be brought in to practices such as project management and product development. This change in the producer-supplier relationship has already occurred, whether it is recognized or not. Accordingly, the forward-thinking company will acknowledge that its suppliers’ problems are its own problems, harming its own productivity.  Equally, modern suppliers work for multiple clients, with each of whom they have a different relationship. In effect these clients are competing for the supplier’s time and resources. The application of extended enterprise thinking, and the incorporation of tools such as DREAMS, can work to ensure, for any one company, that theirs is the best client-supplier relationship. This means the most communicative, the most harmonious, the most collaborative, and ultimately the most productive.

Given that these decisive shifts have already taken place, how can we determine if an enterprise is ready to embark into this global challenge.  Neither age nor experience can predict the maturity level of two people, and thus neither can it predict the maturity of an enterprise.  We venture to understand a systematic metric/measurement system that supports assessment of the maturity (i.e. readiness) of a particular enterprise and the consistent comparison of maturity between different types of enterprises to determine its potential to integrate into the extended enterprise.  Development of metrics and methodologies for determining an Enterprise Readiness Level (ERL) can yield the potential for making efficient and effective life-cycle acquisition, operational, and maturity decisions while integrating methodologies for strategic planning that illustrates the timely implementation of capability increments into an enterprise.

Enterprise Readiness

Social/Knowledge Networks

Social/Knowledge NetworksTraditionally enterprises follow fundamental forms of organizational structure (i.e. project, functional, and matrix) based on prescribed organizational practices.  Although, there has been extensive research that has shown that a set of individual people connected through social relationships can be a key success factor that displaces the value of any formal structure.  But what about the knowledge that transfers through these informal lines of organizational connectivity.  This is defined as an organization’s Knowledge Network - a set of individual persons connected through social relationships with regard to knowledge creation within a specified domain of knowledge. 

The purpose of this research is to understand the knowledge network that exist in the performance of a key knowledge domain and analyze the diversity and connectivity of people seeking this knowledge. The aim is to identify the stratus of individuals in this knowledge network, define the information flow between them, characterize the network, and determine how this network can be effectively utilized to optimize an organization’s competencies through a Knowledge Network Analysis (KNA).  KNA is a diagnostic method for collecting and analyzing data about the patterns of relationships among people in groups using a systematic approach that makes the invisible flows within an organization visible that can produce understanding as well as action.

 

 

Enterprise Analysis

Why KNA?

  • Successful enterprises understand the need to ensure that knowledge is reaching all the parts of the enterprise that need them.
  • Knowledge flows along existing pathways in enterprises.
  • To understand the knowledge flow, find out what the patterns are.
  • Create interventions to create, reinforce, or change the patterns to improve the knowledge flow.

There are three types of intervention following a knowledge network analysis:
Text Box: •	An analysis may indicate the need to modify the enterprise or to introduce people into new, specific roles to assist the knowledge transfer.       •	Accelerate adoption of technologies to support expertise location, collaborative forums, virtual meetings, enterprise development  •	Face-to-face or other real-time programs that bring enterprises together to share their individual experience and expertise start to break down the ‘don’t know’ barriers.     •	Most individuals, and especially leaders, will rapidly correlate the map to their own perceptions and intuitions about the context behind the map and take their own actions, either publicly or privately.   

Biology of Systems

This research proposes to do as von Bertalanffy once did, and that is to draw on the biological sciences, now hugely advanced beyond that ever imagined by von Bertalanffy and his peers, and use its findings, architectures and emergent behaviors, to argue for a biology of technology and enterprise systems. We seek a science and approach that we believe will provide richer insight into system failure, 'health' maintenance, repair, replication, growth, and mutation, all those features of the evolution of systems which constantly challenge us and which thus far we have only been able to explain via macro-level models and tools. We propose to go deeper into the structure of these systems and to discover the "DNA" (building blocks) of these systems. Thus establishing a foundation to understand their behavior using biological analogies which we believe will turn out to be more than metaphors. We assert that these systems have micro-structures which will explain their individual life cycle and their communal ecology.

We have set ourselves a challenge of the highest order which is in line with the nature of blue sky research. We are wanting to produce a biology of systems based on the premise that their essence is ‘togetherness’ and this is interpretable in terms of five key conceptual chemicals. We have to make use of perceived interdependencies of these five in postulating deep system architectures that equate to systems DNA. We can usefully rely on agent-based modeling technology and on many examples of technology-based systems – both the products and their builders. What we do not know are the models nor how to build them since there is no theory for model-building. The science of biology will be our roadmap, imagination our guide, and the biology of systems our destination. It is a worthy adventure.

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