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
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
is worse when apparently possible because people don’t realise they
misunderstand each other.)
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. most of the time!) communication can become
quite confusing, not to say heated.
Sometimes we need to use different language to explain a
difficult concept. This is an explanation of the off-side rule in football
(soccer to those of you from across the pond - there’s that language problem
again!) to someone who is well versed in the process 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. Both of you have forgotten your wallets.
It would be rude to push in front of the first
person 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 plain wrong for you to be in
front of the other shopper and you would be OFFSIDE!”
So if English can be confusing to people who speak it,
imagine the problems in the multinational world we live in without boundaries
(no pun intended, but I’ll take the credit anyway!) as we can see in this
explanation of Cricket…
“You have two sides, one out in the field and one
Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and
when he's out he comes in and the next man 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 men still in and not out.
When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out
try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out
and goes in.
There are two men called umpires who stay out all
the time and they decide when the men who are in are out.
When both sides have been in and all the men have
been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in,
including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.”
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
If not what changes would you
make to The Pragmatic Family of Frameworks?