alignment - finding the truth

what is true about an object

The nice part about information analyses is that it is never ready. You could wonder why we still do not know what a ... is. (Feel free to fill in any real-life object such as "house", "invoice", "potatoe".) The reason is that there are too many different angles from which to look at the object. Taking all the different perspectives together would make the model for the object too complex for it to be managed by an automated system. Hence models are prepared from a certain perspective, or formulated differently, are valid in a specific context only. The model of house for instance takes a different form depending on wether you are taking the role of the architect, of the construction company, of the inhabitant, of the bank, of the city and tax authorities, of the fire brigade etc.

I also encountered an other phenomenon. Suppose you are the analyst from the IT department and were assigned the job of modelling the next generation systems. You are interviewing the business experts. They are likely to not give you a view on the reality. They give you their model of that reality. That's a pitty. You don't know why that model is the model they use. You can be sure that it is a model that is invented by humans in order for them to be able to control the phenomenon at hand. If you would decide to take such model and implement it in software you might lose the possibilities of exploiting the power of computers. Computers have very different capabilities from people, right?

It can even get worse. The business experts might give you the model that underlies the current, to be replaced, computer system. This model might over the years have become their reality.

But what is the answer? You need to find the true reality and that part of it that is relevant in your context. When taking that as the foundation, there is a good chance that you are going to build on a stable foundation.

Theo van Eijndhoven, 2004