Monday, April 25, 2011

Full confluence

All righty. At long last here is a first draft version of the complete Confluence Sensemaking Framework (CSF), written as a set of instructions for running a sensemaking workshop using it.

I have posted the instructions as a page in my blog so that people can find it without having to look through lots of blog posts to find it. I hope to put up a few more pages of useful concepts and methods and things (all of which is going into the book, and yes I am still working on it!).

If you use the CSF in a workshop and have questions or suggestions please do let me know. I am eager to keep improving it.


Harold van Garderen said...

Hi Cynthia,

I'm still chewing :-)

First questions that comes to mind:

1) There seems to be a sense of "time" in the CSF, that is not made explicit. Is that on purpose?

2) These submodels, do they have "natural" places in the top/full model? If so, can you propose an integrated view?

3) Do you expect other submodels to appear over time? Could "time" itself be a candidate dimension?

Not expecting immediate answers, just sharing my thoughts.



Cynthia Kurtz said...

Harold: You may think I have ignored this comment. I have not! I was struggling to give birth to another blog post that was hard to articulate and so had not a thought to spare. The answers to your excellent questions (for which I shower you with gratitude) are also hard to articulate, thus it could not be answered quickly. But this will be my task tomorrow. Right now I have a sleeping husband and a waiting child. Watch this space.


Cynthia Kurtz said...

Harold, to respond finally:

1) I think the CSF works best when time is considered, but I don't feel like it should be a requirement. Time might be in the stories people tell as they gather material, and the material they end up with might be the stories themselves and might be elements drawn from the stories. Time also comes in at the end, after there is a landscape, to talk about change: either moving across the landscape or the landscape itself changing.

The reason I don't want to absolutely require time as an element is that some people really don't get into stories as much as some other people do. (I do have a mention of time as an optional element, in the 5. Tell section of the page, but I say "if you like, bring a time element in.") Being soaked in story work there is a danger of ignoring disconfirming evidence and pushing something that is not as natural to everyone as it is to yourself. So I think the time element has to be a nice-to-have. If people build landscapes out of nothing but static properties and tell no stories using them, they can still get something out of the exercise.

2) Yes the subframeworks do have natural places in the full framework. The blog page says where, but possibly you missed it. I have added a visual index into where the subframeworks work best. Hopefully that will be more useful.

3) The only spot in the overall space that doesn't have a subframework is the exact middle. So that's the only "extra" subframework I can think of, right now. It's an interesting question: if there was a subframework for the middle, what would it be like? Hm. Hm.

Time as a dimension? You COULD use time as dimension, but when you are building these frameworks you have to be very dimension stingy. Meaning, if you allow time as a dimension you have to give up something else. I have tried to rank possible dimensions on utility, meaning, if people did put things on that scale would it tell them anything they didn't already know? And people do know about time already so it may not have the "bang for the buck" to be dimension-worthy.

I have thought that it might be useful to build a GIS-style layered landscape with time as the vertical dimension. But that's hard to do with sticky notes and walls in a room. I could imagine making a four-wall "animation" where time moves along as you walk along. Or a slide set where people view them one after another.

This is great! Many thanks Harold for the thought-provoking questions.