Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A new career in modelling?

One of the areas the Riga Technical University are exploring at the moment is the use of Knowledge Transfer models and their application to the using technology to support and enhance learning. The task we have set ourselves for the next two weeks is to see if we can produce a new model for sustainable lifelong learning. We are using the Enterprise Knowledge Develpment (EKD) method as tool for building the model as this is something the team here have used many times in project planning.

EKD was developed by the Sorbone, UMIST (now Manchester) and SYSLAB/DSV in Stockholm. They argue that -
  • EKD is an integrated collection of methods, techniques, and tools that will support your process of analysing, planning, designing, and changing your business.
  • EKD supports your thinking, reasoning, and learning about the business.
  • EKD leads to more complete and consistent business designs.

And that EKD is not -

  • a “magic method” that relieves you from thinking and acting
  • a “software tool”
  • an approach that necessarily leads to a software system

There are various sub models within the overall model and we started with the concepts model. The Concepts Model is used to strictly define the "things" and "phenomena" that are being talked about in the other models. They are presented as enterprise concepts, attributes, and relationships. Concepts are used to define more strictly expressions in the Goals Model as well as the content of information sets in the Business Processes Model. The Concepts Model usually clarifies questions, such as: what concepts are recognised in the enterprise (including their relationships to goals, activities and processes, and actors), how are they defined, what business rules and constraints monitor these objects and concepts.

The planning process begins as a sort of organized 'thought shower', outlining the key concept preconditions that will underpin the model, which are written on pieces of coloured papaer. These are then stuck on a wall that has been covered in plastic so that connections can be drawn between the various concepts, as you can see from the photograph. Once complete, Visio is the used to keep a permenant record. I found the process a really useful and productive one - really quite engrossing. So much so that it wasn't untill 8pm that we decided to call it a day! The plan for tomorrow is to see if we can create a 'perfect' implemetation of the model.

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