Pragmatic’s Ontologies and
Frameworks can easily be thought of some ivory tower academic tomes which are
nice in a perfect world but does not provide any practical advice.
People ask me…
“Yeah! It’s great but, does it tell me
and others exactly what to do, when, how and with what?”
Usually closely followed by…
“It’s not detailed enough to be useful.”
The answer is no. That is exactly what they were designed
not to do.
Yes, there is a difference between theory and practice. In
practice detail will be exposed and problems will be found that means we cannot
follow the theory literally and to the letter, but theory is never meant to be
applied literally and so why people complain when it’s not I am not sure. It’s
almost like people want theory to be practice, which if it was, it wouldn’t be
In the world, there is no lack of things telling people
exactly what to do with excruciating detail (look at some other frameworks out there)
and while detail is good, detail that is not framed in theory is either
foolhardy or just plain dangerous. Balance is the key. We call that a Pragmatic approach.
Theory is more about thinking than doing and practice is
more about doing than thinking. The intimation that if something is “theory” it
is useless and not worth looking at is ludicrous, but people do it all the time
and use it as way to dismiss things. Maybe it’s a sign of the times we live in
where doing things is the only thing people seem to care
about - thinking doesn’t seem to have any value anymore. Which is really
strange since thinking is exactly what humans are best at.
The truth is, everything you see around you was built on
Theory provides a context
for practice to happen within.
By exposing the fundamentals of transformation and defining
patterns that link all the parts into a holistic whole we give people the
context to work within that continuum cooperatively. It’s like driving a car,
you don’t teach someone to drive a car by telling them how to turn the steering
wheel (left a bit, right a bit, a bit more, too much, go a bit left, a bit
more….) you explain and show what the steering wheel and other controls do and
how they interrelate, understanding the physics involved and getting them to
feel the physics involved (e.g. what happens if you turn the steering wheel
fast at high speed as compared to slow speed) and that provides the context.
Is someone telling you when to
turn the steering wheel and how much?
Does your Enterprise provide
you with things that allow you to understand how you fit into the overall
If not, would your job be more
effective, efficient and more rewarding if it did?
Who will you lobby to provide