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Thread: The Thingamy Manifesto

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    The Thingamy Manifesto

    I received The Thingamy Manifesto amongst my feeds this morning and thought I might share it here. Thingamy is a business model builder which I haven't looked at too much, but the concept seems interesting. I'm not sure if I've got the time to figure out how it works now, but maybe one of you has the need to do some modelling?

    1. The Organisational Hierarchy is kaput - as single purpose executor of the Business Model it requires reorganisation every time you need to get better, an utterly futile exercise most of the time. Replace it.

    2. Managing is a waste of time. Leadership I need, getting out of bed in the morning I can do myself.

    3. Legacy software models the "way we always did things" - usually a model from the days of paper, quills and desks. Model reality instead.

    4. Tree-structures are faulty. "Where it resides" is only two dimensional and suitable only for places. Use tags and any other means to enhance the knowledge and make finding easier.

    5. A report is simply logic applied to raw data. Apply when needed and keep all data in raw form. That will do away with applications, middleware, complexity and deliver far better reports.

    6. Accounting was “invented” in 1573 1494 using paper and quills, dump it and let the IT system that delivers the flows capture the real data and display it any way you want real-time.

    7. Budgets are completely silly. You know nothing about the future so forget it and leave such to soothsayers and magicians.

    8. Think of processes as "what happens to things", not "what things happen".

    9. Documents and forms are bad - they only document "what things happen" creating reconciliation, errors and rigid processes. Let the thing itself capture what happens to it.

    10. Process is not a track, it's a football game where you see the goal and look for and try openings all the time. The ball is the flow.

    11. Flow is everything - flow is relationship, flow is knowledge, flow is context and flow creates value. Your business is all about flows, never forget it. Build the flows, then better the flows to better the value and your margins. Do it, then do it again, then do it more. Think extreme Business Planning.

    ]Read the full Thingamy Manifesto by Sigurd Rinde
    How much of what he is saying resonates with you?
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    How much of what he is saying resonates with you?
    Interesting - let's see:

    1. The Organisational Hierarchy is kaput - as single purpose executor of the Business Model it requires reorganisation every time you need to get better, an utterly futile exercise most of the time. Replace it.
    In one way a self-sustaining argument. Reorganisation on its own won't always result in improvement, but it is often a needed part. At the end of the day there is some sort of hierarchy even in the loosest of organisational structures. Replace it? With what? Anarchy doesn't correlate well with organisation.

    2. Managing is a waste of time. Leadership I need, getting out of bed in the morning I can do myself.
    Just the kind of staff I prefer to look for. Unfortunately we need some people for the grunt work and they often don't come with self-management.

    3. Legacy software models the "way we always did things" - usually a model from the days of paper, quills and desks. Model reality instead.
    Agreed. At the very least with the "model reality instead" part.

    4. Tree-structures are faulty. "Where it resides" is only two dimensional and suitable only for places. Use tags and any other means to enhance the knowledge and make finding easier.
    Agreed. Except sometimes it helps to get a simplistic understanding of relationships between different thingamys that might otherwise be really obscure or missed completely. Just understand there is an error factor.

    5. A report is simply logic applied to raw data. Apply when needed and keep all data in raw form. That will do away with applications, middleware, complexity and deliver far better reports.
    Agreed - thank goodness for computers! Although I'm still trying to work out how that makes the applications disappear.

    6. Accounting was “invented” in 1573 1494 using paper and quills, dump it and let the IT system that delivers the flows capture the real data and display it any way you want real-time.
    Not sure about the "dump it" part. We are, however, using the "real data" to generate legitimate accounting. Maths was "invented" a long time ago and somehow still seems relevant too.

    7. Budgets are completely silly. You know nothing about the future so forget it and leave such to soothsayers and magicians.
    Does this come with a bottomless cheque book?

    8. Think of processes as "what happens to things", not "what things happen".
    Need to chew that one over a bit more...

    9. Documents and forms are bad - they only document "what things happen" creating reconciliation, errors and rigid processes. Let the thing itself capture what happens to it.
    And it would capture and disseminate this information how?

    10. Process is not a track, it's a football game where you see the goal and look for and try openings all the time. The ball is the flow.
    Agreed.

    11. Flow is everything - flow is relationship, flow is knowledge, flow is context and flow creates value. Your business is all about flows, never forget it. Build the flows, then better the flows to better the value and your margins. Do it, then do it again, then do it more. Think extreme Business Planning.
    The flow bit sounds about right to me. The "extreme Business Planning" part needs to take a walk elsewhere to find its own identity, methinks.
    Last edited by Dave A; 09-Jan-07 at 02:20 PM.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Maybe it is a good thing to pull his thinking apart and see what that reveals about our own thinking. So, starting with organisational hierarchy....

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    1. The Organisational Hierarchy is kaput - as single purpose executor of the Business Model it requires reorganisation every time you need to get better, an utterly futile exercise most of the time. Replace it.
    In one way a self-sustaining argument. Reorganisation on its own won't always result in improvement, but it is often a needed part. At the end of the day there is some sort of hierarchy even in the loosest of organisational structures. Replace it? With what? Anarchy doesn't correlate well with organisation.
    Maybe he is using the term "organisational hierarchy" to refer to a "traditional" top down hierarchy, i.e. boss, senior managers, junior managers etc. I think that that on its own is not an issue, but often how that is translated is into a top down relational structure, i.e. boss speaks to senior managers, they speak to junior managers etc.

    So if we were to draw that out we would have the king-pin boss at the top of an ever expanding triangle, with each line connecting people defining their relationship to each other. I think one of the problems with that setup is that it can infer adult-child relationships (depends on the character strength of each person).

    Maybe we can say that a better structure is a relational organisation, i.e. how you relate to those around you defines role. If we were to draw that it would be a complicated jumble of lines defining how each person relates to each other person in the organisation. Maybe (and this is just a thought) that type of organisational diagram infers adult-adult relationships.

    Also, relationships are constantly changing as the external and internal situation changes. As the relationships change so does the organisation. Maybe if we think of it in this way it can allow a much more evolutionary approach vs the revolutionary approach of traditional "organisational restructuring"

    Those are some of my thoughts.....fire away
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    ... it requires reorganisation every time you need to get better, an utterly futile exercise most of the time.
    I think this is where he is really coming from - probably born out of frustration from personal experience, and I suspect more than a few of us can relate.

    Locally we've seen, as example, the re-organisation of the police force. The problem was results of the organisation, the major underlying cause seemed to be morale. Along comes the restructure - did morale go up? From what I've heard - no. Perhaps even the opposite. Could the results improve? In some areas it's still possible. Whether there will be a nett overall improvement I guess only time will tell.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Hi guys, let me humbly try to expand, using Dave's list again - sticking to the unresolved ones:


    1. The Organisational Hierarchy is kaput - as single purpose executor of the Business Model it requires reorganisation every time you need to get better, an utterly futile exercise most of the time. Replace it.
    In one way a self-sustaining argument. Reorganisation on its own won't always result in improvement, but it is often a needed part. At the end of the day there is some sort of hierarchy even in the loosest of organisational structures. Replace it? With what? Anarchy doesn't correlate well with organisation.

    This is based on the assumption that an Organisational Hierarchy really have only one purpose - to deliver or execute the Business Model ("How to use your resources to create the value (stipulated in the strategy) and keep some of the value yourself". Thus if you need to better or change your Business Model, how you use your resources, you have to reorganise. This happens all the time and is rather time and resource intensive, and mostly not very successful due to human resistance. The bad thing is that "changing and bettering your Business Model" should really be a daily task, just like a top athlete, get better every day. Ah, replace with what: Now you hit the main reason for why we started building thingamy in the first place, to create a IT system that actually allows building the whole Business Model, then deliver and execute same through workflows, capture all data to allow any type of reports - including accounting - and let you tweak, change and better the Model every morning. Quite ambitious yes...

    2. Managing is a waste of time. Leadership I need, getting out of bed in the morning I can do myself.
    Just the kind of staff I prefer to look for. Unfortunately we need some people for the grunt work and they often don't come with self-management.

    Behind this statement lies the fact that managers, and thus "managing" is a result of the Organisational Hierarchy, they are the nodes making it happen. If the OH is replaced you will - in principle not need those nodes. But alas, leadership is always needed.

    5. A report is simply logic applied to raw data. Apply when needed and keep all data in raw form. That will do away with applications, middleware, complexity and deliver far better reports.
    Agreed - thank goodness for computers! Although I'm still trying to work out how that makes the applications disappear.


    An application is usually similar to a workbench in a workshop - a place where you do many different things. At work a word processor is say used for producing an offer, an invoice and a pestering letter at non-payment. Such events can be "ripped" out of the application and happen directly in the pertinent flow producing raw data - which then later can be used to produce whatever reports, like documents or whatever. Importance is the flow.

    6. Accounting was “invented” in 1573 1494 using paper and quills, dump it and let the IT system that delivers the flows capture the real data and display it any way you want real-time.
    Not sure about the "dump it" part. We are, however, using the "real data" to generate legitimate accounting. Maths was "invented" a long time ago and somehow still seems relevant too.


    Double-entry accounting requires that you choose what account a widget shall be logged to - funny thing is that if you have a procurement process where the widget travels through and that every event is captured the system would know enough to produce that account "from behind": A mapping rule saying say: Take all objects of type widget, owner being company, for place warehouse and add the values of all those entering that map minus all that left that map for a given period. Thus you can run using many GAAPS and never mess with the raw data.

    7. Budgets are completely silly. You know nothing about the future so forget it and leave such to soothsayers and magicians.
    Does this come with a bottomless cheque book?

    Ah, you're alluding to the "forecasting" part - this I think can be analysed in better ways than the usual budgeting process. Not saying there are any fail proof way to see thee future, but better ones than boss pushing for higher sales and lower costs while underlings pushes for the opposite to lower the pressure

    8. Think of processes as "what happens to things", not "what things happen".
    Need to chew that one over a bit more...

    Today's systems are event or transaction-driven. Thingamy is object-driven. Example - a procurement process: Event driven will produce documents documenting the events - order sheet, shipping papers, reception report and whatnot. A whole folder of documents that all will add up to the whole story about the widget. Object-driven uses the object itself, here a widget. The chap ordering fills in the size, type and colour porperties of the widget data-object, then punts it to the chosen supplier who sees the fields previously filled in and fills in serial number and costs. Then the chap on the dock sees the pertinet fields/properties like serial number and type and changes only one propert, "place", to "warehouse". Thus you'll have only one single data-object representing the real-world object. That principle applied will also do away with reconsiliation as no real-world object, virtual or physical will have more than one data-object representing it.

    9. Documents and forms are bad - they only document "what things happen" creating reconciliation, errors and rigid processes. Let the thing itself capture what happens to it.
    And it would capture and disseminate this information how?

    See 8 above

    11. Flow is everything - flow is relationship, flow is knowledge, flow is context and flow creates value. Your business is all about flows, never forget it. Build the flows, then better the flows to better the value and your margins. Do it, then do it again, then do it more. Think extreme Business Planning.
    The flow bit sounds about right to me. The "extreme Business Planning" part needs to take a walk elsewhere to find its own identity, methinks.

    The term "extreme business planning" is mine and does not say much as such, but in the original post there is a link to that post where it was coined

    Thanks guys, love a good discusssion!

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    How cool is that. I just love this internet.. er... thingamy. Sig - thanks for stopping by to clear that up.

    I still think extreme business planning deserves its own place. My kneejerk reaction was "define extreme".

    For those who might be interested in the concept read ladies and gentlemen, what's your business model? Part #3 and extreme business planning, again. The Vodafone implemetation of HSDPA in Europe saga came up when I was bemoaning the fact that the PCMCIA based hardware was already facing redundancy issues before they even hit the shelves here. Certainly presents a strong case for "extreme business planning" when playing in the new technology game. And if its needed there, indeed why not everywhere.

    I like the concept of what you're shooting at here. We can massage away at a few of the finer points, but my curiosity is piqued by a broader puzzle.

    I see Thingamy is a manifestation as well as a manifesto. How do we get our hands on the product or is it not available? Certainly seems worth a closer look.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Thanks Dave (and Duncan)!

    Agree to that, how cool is the web, wonder how we could do things before... not to talk about my annual "marketing budget" of 74$ for typepad! (eh, not mentioning I usually blow the budget every time I visit a bar with blogger friends when travelling )

    The "extreme" I think was a play from XP, extreme programming, release often etc. Or as I live by "fail early, fail often".

    I do have a band of people who have a high threshold for annoyance and head scratching that have access to latest build, bugs and all - so if you're not afraid, send me a mail - sig at thingamy dot com - and I'll give you the links etc.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    A thought occurs

    It's little moments/threads like these that makes me glad I went for the open forum option.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    It's little moments/threads like these that makes me glad I went for the open forum option.
    Interestingly enough you can look at that thought in the context of some of the Thingamy Manifesto points,

    (1) Tree structures are faulty AND (2) Flow is everything

    In a way a closed forum implies a tree structure (i.e. everything stems from one root), and limits the ability to "flow" - especially the relationship part.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Yeah. Interesting. This discussion is a little but in a strange way related.

    I was just thinking in particular about a general conception that open sites, because they are free, don't deliver value. Simplistically it seems ridiculous - after all they aren't costing you anything so if they're a bit vacuous, so what. But who wants to visit a vacuous site?

    The implication is that paid sites and closed communities somehow deliver more value. Certainly, there are risks with open community sites but with careful management and some degree of understanding it's easily sorted - especially with all the fancy tools that come with this particular application.

    But we've just seen something that couldn't happen so easily in a closed community.

    The other thought is that much of the value is provided by the members anyway...

    And without knocking blogs (which was kinda another option in the beginning), this allows for far more interactivity.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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