The Pragmatic Family of Frameworks


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The Pragmatic Family of Frameworks are written in English and you would therefore expect to be able to understand every word.

However, although most of us speak English fluently, the same cannot be said about the language we use to talk, about things in relation to Enterprises.

Different people use different words to mean different things at different times. This is a massive problem, which makes understanding anything anyone says, at best impossible, and at worst, apparently possible. (It’s worse when apparently possible, because that’s when people think they understand each other, but don’t)

People, including me, get attached to the meaning of the words we use, and defend those meanings passionately. This is totally understandable, because the meanings we attach to words, are the absolute basis for our understanding things.

Pragmatic has no desire or wish to impose our meaning of words onto you, however, for the purposes of understanding the Pragmatic Family of Frameworks, I would ask you to temporarily put aside your current meanings of words, and try to embrace, accept and understand the meanings of the words used here. The actual words are not so important as the meaning behind them.

Many words people use are overloaded with multiple meanings, and when this is not clear (i.e. a lot of the time!) communication can become quite confusing, not to say heated.

Sometimes we need to use different language to explain a difficult concept. For example, let’s look at an explanation of the offside rule in football (or soccer to those of you from across the pond – see, there’s that language problem again!) to someone who knows nothing about the rules of football, but knows everything about the rules of buying shoes…

“You're in a shoe shop, second in the queue for the till. Behind the shop assistant on the till is a pair of shoes which you have seen and which you must have.

The shopper in front of you has seen them also and is eyeing them with desire. But, both of you have forgotten your wallets.

It would (of course) be rude to push in front of the shopper in front of you, if you had no money to pay for the shoes.

(The shop assistant remains at the till waiting.)

Your friend is trying on another pair of shoes at the back of the shop and sees your dilemma.

They prepare to throw their wallet to you.

If they do, you can catch the wallet, then walk round the other shopper and buy the shoes!

At a pinch your friend could throw the wallet ahead of the other shopper, and "whilst it is in flight" you could nip around the other shopper, catch the wallet, and buy the shoes!

BUT, you must always remember that until the wallet has "actually been thrown", it would be just plain wrong for you to move in front of the other shopper and buy the shoes.

- Anonymous

So, if English can be confusing to people who speak it natively, imagine the problems in the multinational world we live in, as we can see in this explanation of Cricket (in a world without boundaries - pun intended), …

“You have two sides, one out in the field and one in.

Each person that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next person goes in until he's out.

When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get people still in and not out.

When a person goes out to go in, the people who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next person in goes out and goes in.

There are two people called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the people who are in are out.

When both sides have been in and all the people have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the people have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.”

- Anonymous


Questions to ponder...

Do people in your enterprise speak the same language?

Are you prepared to map the content of The Pragmatic Family of Frameworks to your own internal naming conventions?

If not what changes would you make to The Pragmatic Family of Frameworks?

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