Fox or Hedgehog? A Guide to Developing a Framework for Decision Makers.

6 Feb

The core objective of the blogs in relation to “IS Quality” is to construct a conceptual framework that can be used as a support in the decision making process for top level executives in determining the quality of their information system services and outputs.  The framework will allow management teams to cognitively steer them into making a successful decision.  It may be used as a road-map or guide when collaborating between groups abstaining from affective decision making. (Nichols, Aidan 2003) Eventually a final choice will be made when determining the quality of the IS outputs but it cannot solely be based on a conceptual framework that’s not to say it doesn’t have a contributing factor. Developing a conceptual framework to assist in a choice or decision may be a complex task. It is vital not to be narrow minded adapting the framework through the lens of a single principle but rather be open-minded and develop a frame work from a variety of sources increasing your knowledge bank. This goes back to the idea of two very different ways of thinking; one can be categorised as ‘hedgehog’ the narrow minded person who channels and knows one single organising principle or the alternative the ‘fox’ who knows many things and who pursues various unrelated, even contradictory ends. (Isaiah Berlin 1953) I think one must adapt a mind frame more closely related to the ‘fox’ when developing a framework.

In order to construct a beneficial conceptual framework it must be understood how it has to be developed.  To understand the “how” we have to define what a frame work is and does. So what do we utilise the framework for;

  • Makes it easier for top level management to work with complex technologies, in this case determining the quality of an organisations information services and outputs.
  • It ties together a group of discrete objects/components into something more useful. These components need to identified and correlated when constructing the framework.

Having a general idea of what a framework does we need to understand the specific classifications that defines a framework. A framework can be classified as three terms; a wrapper which is a way of repackaging a function to achieve a goal (determining quality of IS systems and outputs).

 

Wrapper

Figure 1 Wrapper Provides Added Value

 

An architecture which is the design the framework incorporates. It is separate from the collection of wrappers and methodology it implements. It can be seen as the association between the objects. The beauty about the architecture is that it may be re-usable early on the project but once it is implemented it may be hard to change.

architecture

Figure 2 The architecture forming an association between a collection of objects

 

A methodology defines the interaction between architectures, components and objects. Unlike the architecture which deals with the associations between objects, the methodology deals with the interaction between objects. (Marc Clifton,2003)

methodology

Figure 3 Methodology defines the interaction between architectures, Components and Objects.

But a framework is not all “black and white” but will need all a three classifications in order for the framework to be implemented. Taking this on the board, the real challenge lies in identifying the appropriate methodology which targets our goal and also in creating an architecture that associates with a correct set of components or objects.

External factors must not be neglected when developing a framework, such as the alarming nature of the changing world. Continual advancement of IT has a direct effect on IS systems which may leave some frameworks outdated and miss aligned with the IS output. Hence determining the quality of the IS outputs when using a miss aligned framework may be prove inaccurate as a result. It is vital that the rapid advancement of Information Systems is taken into consideration when conducting the necessary research. It can be said that a framework that is inaccurate, not aligned with its information system outputs and is taken only at face value may contribute to direct consequences down the line. Relating it to Per Bak’s sand pile hypothesis which shows that a small event can have a momentous consequence and that seemingly stable systems can behave in highly unpredictable ways. The framework that determines the quality of its’ IS outputs correlating to the ‘small event’ and overall implementation of the IS system being the ‘stable system that can behave in unpredictable ways’.

Sand Pile

Figure 3 Per Bak’s sand pile hypothesis: if grains of sand were dropped on a pile one at a time, the pile, at some point, would enter a critical state in which another grain of sand could cause a large avalanche — or nothing at all.

 

Sources:

Nichols, Aidan (2003). Discovering Aquinas: An Introduction to His Life, Work, and Influence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.

Joshua Cooper Ramo (2010). The Age of the Unthinkable. Little, Brown & Company.

Isaiah Berlin (1953). The Hedgehog and The Fox. Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Mark Clifton (2003). What is a Framework?. http://www.codeproject.com.

 

Advertisements

3 Responses to “Fox or Hedgehog? A Guide to Developing a Framework for Decision Makers.”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. IS Quality « So Opinionated … - February 8, 2013

    […] who is also blogging on IS Quality, for the visual representations in his last blog entitled; (Fox or Hedgehog? A Guide to Developing a Framework for Decision Makers). Nevertheless, I will be quick to suggest that we should mix any chosen framework with some points […]

  2. John Kay: The world needs more foxes and fewer hedgehogs | Tim Batchelder.com - February 10, 2013

    […] Fox or Hedgehog? A Guide to Developing a Framework for Decision Makers. (sopinion8ed.wordpress.com) […]

  3. IS Quality: Developing a framework to support management teams in determining the quality of their IS services and outputs | So Opinionated ... - April 27, 2013

    […] who is also blogging on IS Quality, for the visual representations in his last blog entitled; (Fox or Hedgehog? A Guide to Developing a Framework for Decision Makers). Nevertheless, I will be quick to suggest that we should mix any chosen framework with some points […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: