A program for progress
Power& tradition holding back progress Contents Overcome reactionaries

Developing a program for progress

Summary
This presentation discusses program management using complex adaptive system (CAS) theory. 
Introduction
This introductory presentation:
  • Outlines some challenges(p.3) with generating change in a business operation
    • Challenges include resistant forces and structural impediments
    • Overcoming the challenges may require the deployment of a cross functional program
  • Frames these resistant and structural forces(p.8), inherent to operational businesses, using complex adaptive system CAS(p.14) theory
    • CAS theory describes general mechanisms and structures for overcoming these issues
  • It outlines an approach to enabling change based on:

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Business operations find it hard to implement change because of conservative forces integrated into the organization:
  • Different aspects of solution development, manufacturing, sales and support require conflicting approaches
    • Typically the organizational coalition must mask these conflicts by functionalizing the different aspects
  • Functional organizations:
    • Allow replication of structures and application of business models and infrastructure across the operations.  This supports alignment of the overall network. 
    • Enable recombination operations, through which the enterprise can look for equivalent situations across its businesses and then select high achievers, from this pool of functional equivalents to fill a key or troubled role
    • Hierarchies enable silos


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Business operations (continued)
  • Personalities: conservative forces keep the organization focused on its path, and success leads to their concentrating power
    • Organizations must also adapt to changing situations
      • Guardian personalities, support and protect the hierarchy
        • Ensure that commitments are honored
        • Inhibit unnecessary change
        • Threatened by successful flat(p.10) operations
      • Artisan personalities, the other major strategic category, see change as opportunity, and will renege on commitments if the benefit outweighs the risk


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Business operations find it hard to implement change because of conservative forces integrated into the organization (continued):
  • Grave threats to the organization raise the priority of command and control flows in the minds of the organization
  • These shifts help ensure a coordinated response to the threat, focusing resources to overcome powerful foes
    • In a situation with physical threats this response can be very effective.  In business as in politics
    • May be the only way to gain broad agreement to commit to a particular strategy
    • Problem when the threat calls for creative adjustments to the products and business model, and imagination is more useful than obedience
These forces have to be actively undermined to enable creative change, and overcome disruption


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Cross functional programs are a key way of focusing broad business awareness on successfully adapting a product to a new target market

Numerous challenges: 
  • Justifying the additional program typically requires promises of significant financial returns
  • These are often required but constrain the program to an unrealistic business model:
    • New market must be penetrated, beach heads deployed across the market chasm, and major purchasers be convinced of the success of the key pilots
    • Key pilot projects will take time to deploy
      • Since they must be structured to match the expectations, and initial needs of initial visionary customers 
      • While ensuring features can be deployed into the main market.  
    • Initial segments will be small, specialized and require significant resources to sustain
    • Pricing of the new product may need to conflict with current offerings, or even undermine them
    • Business partnerships with leading program competitors may reduce costs, improve profits and extend account control
    • Amplification of sales may require conflicts with the core business
  • Transferring a full complement of experienced employees to the program:
    • Stresses all the departments from which they were transferred
    • Demands different approaches from their typical functional activities
    • Draws the attention of the program manager to building and managing the team
    • May require external skills when the core business is having to cut costs and staffing


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Challenges (continued)
  • Additional product features or services may be required which will need to be identified and created:
    • Program must decide if separate processes and operational activities must be used
      • If so will they impact the sponsoring businesses?
    • Changes required to the current products may impact the regular processes used by the sponsoring businesses
    • Extending the current product architecture may be wrong if the business model is being disrupted by low cost technologies
  • setting up the value delivery system requires the development of new relationships which may:
    • Threaten the main businesses established network of partners
    • Require out-of-the-box proposals of how to partner and with whom
    • Alter the power relations necessary for the required partnership to work
  • Probably not known if a program structure is right for the business and market challenge?
    • Functional organization leaders may leverage the uncertainty to undermine a threatening program
    • Experienced employees may avoid moving to a program if they have a history of failure within the business


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Complex adaptive system theory can frame the challenges to setting up a cross functional program
  • The business, its customers, value delivery system, suppliers and competitors define a complex adaptive system CAS(p.14)
  • This represents a network of agents(p.21).  Each agent generates signals(p.15) and actions which can affect the other agents
  • The leverage of niches by selected networked agents results in extended phenotypic alignment(p.25) which then constrains the network to these niches
  • Human separation of roles: males irregularly hunting and females continuously gathering and cooking; combined with food sharing selected for general cooperation
  • Marketing strategies such as "crossing the chasm" target personality types, and so the business model and solution life cycle must cope with the implications for market size, features, sales support as different personalities become the key decision makers in purchase
  • Business functions provide structurally enhanced state(p.30), allowing fast operations for regular situations.  The well-defined, replicated roles allow easy execution of recombination genetic operations(p.24)
  • In particular the organizational coalition uses separation of roles and functions to support both flexibility(p.29) and moral suasion when goals and commitments conflict
  • Disruption(p.30), and value chain conflict between operations require special support to resolve effectively


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Change can be enabled by separation of the new activity from regular operations
  • Commitments to executives should match preconditions of the target markets over time
  • Business model for the startup operation should reflect the
    • Target customer needs
    • Potential of new technologies
    • Competitive strategies
    • Business models of the required network of business partners to deliver the solution to the target customer
    • Life cycle trends 
  • Regulatory constraints of the target market


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Change can be enabled by flattening the organization
  • Removing the focus on function based goals, and relationships allow the group time to bond, and assess their individual needs.  
  • Target customer needs in conflict with the current product and functional processes can be more objectively evaluated. 
  • Sitting together allows for effective cross signalling by team members. 


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Change can be operationalized by a cross functional program
  • A vision of the solution's value must be developed with two conflicting strategies being considered:
    1. Natural selection(p.26) may drive the decision in which case focusing on the job to be done can ensure success
    2. Sexual selection(p.27) may be significant making brand credibility and industrial design key for the customer
  • Powerful champion responsible for providing funding must obtain agreement from the other business leaders that a program is acceptable and will continue to be supported
  • Series of product releases targeted at discrete identified segments in the market can build out the visionary solution while ensuring focus
  • Commitments necessary to develop the program must be assessed and must be offset by the pre-conditions for success.  Alternative future scenarios can help identify the actual path and be used to checkpoint commitments


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Change can be operationalized by a cross functional program (continued)
  • Partnerships can be developed with business models that are synergistic to the offer, and the programs business model
    • Shewhart cycles(p.28) will require, and support, extended phenotypic alignment between developers, integrators, sales representatives, operators and customers
      • Each participating business, or function, must benefit from its commitments and value add
      • Iterations of product, test benches and training and feedback must be supported and acted upon
    • Initial artisan, visionary customer will have preferred partners who must be integrated with the product
    • Fledgling companies building leading edge components can demonstrate the broad vision, and flesh out the solution
    • Main stream businesses with less capable components support acceptance by guardian buyers
    • Stumbling major businesses can support the expansion of the bridgehead with their access to guardian buyers
  • Providing a program structure with input to the rewards and salaries of functional staff encourages focus on the specific target market and customer
  • The flat structure is unstable and will break up into functions when no longer justified


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Backup slides follow

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Complex adaptive systems
  • Complex system:
    • Constrained by emergence
    • Obeys a small set of rules
    • Represents environmental state
    • State variables interdependent based on the nature of the links between the state variables
    • Hurricane: component air and water molecules transiently present; It obeys physical laws; energy within hurricane can interact with (reflect) external environment
  • Complex adaptive system (CAS):
    • Uses captured energy to operate on plans and strategies
    • Executed by emergent schematic agents(p.21)
  • CAS appear chaotic unless viewed with a representative model
  • Agents adapt to other local agents



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Signals and sensors
  • CAS(p.14) interact with their environment via sensors detecting signals, and emergent agents(p.21) (1) performing actionsstructurally enhanced state agent array
  • Signals are phenomena generated by the action of agents
  • A sensor's state will change when it interacts with an environmental phenomena such as a signal
  • As long as a sensor has differential state depending on what phenomena it is experiencing, evolutionary selection(p.26) can drive the emergence of advantageous associations
    • Evolution can capture beneficial strategies within the schematic plan(p.20)
    • An agent can associate each alternative state with a separate strategy
  • Signals can be multi-modal and require very rapid processing
    • Front-end processing sensors, such as eyes (2) and ears (3), which include structurally enhanced state(p.16), and massive parallelism emerges
    • Networked associations can then represent the environmental situation (4), responses (5) and their valuations



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Structurally enhanced state
  • Emergent agents(p.21) can only respond to signals(p.15) if they are able to represent them as state changes
  • When the signals are complex (view of animal walking in a wood), and multi-modal (sound and light), or occur very rapidly (falling object) it may be necessary to prophylactically setup a structure to represent the alternative states
  • The occurrence of a complex modal signal can then be represented by a change to the structure
  • The mechanism is very flexible
    • Structural linkages between agents can represent multi-modal signals
    • Pre-deployment of agents can support detection of rapidly changing signals
  • The structural state representation must be schematically(p.20) defined and modeled(p.23) by schematic agents


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Flows: control and partitioning
  • Objects accelerated by a force, channeled by phenomena in their path create persistent emergent patterns
  • CAS(p.14) can transform stored energy into forces that
    • Channel resource objects into flows
    • Partition flows
  • Network(p.18) of CAS agents(p.21) gather, channel flows of resources 
    • Resources transformed by agents into intermediate/end products
  • Energy consuming transportation agents can be integrated with agents monitoring(p.15) and controlling the flow
  • Buildup of intermediate products detected/used to inhibit early stage transport and operations
  • CAS agents provide an adaptive, emergent mechanism to control and partition flows


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Network effects
Network effects sustain improved efficiency of flows and control(p.17) between connected agents(p.21)
  • Examples of network effects include:
    • Water molecules hydrogen bonding to one another to form liquid water. 
    • Routers linked together enabling the operation of the Internet
    • Web pages linked together by HTTP and the Internet enabling operation of the World-Wide-Web.  
  • Network effects include:
    • Positive returns of hub connections
      • Increasing benefits for each element connected to a hub.  
      • Sexual selection(p.27) amplification of flows of genes and memes
    • Transition from chaos to order - as the number of elements connected increases the likelihood of most elements being connected increases asymmetrically, enabling flows and control(p.17)
    • Well-connected network is robust to node failures
    • Infrastructure amplification(p.30) improves flows, and enables control


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Network effects (continued)
  • Network effects can emerge as agents(p.21) connect to one another
  • Topology introduces constraints and other properties to the network 
    • One additional link can significantly effect the system
  • Closely connected agents can cluster 
    • Outside the cluster weak links/highly connected hub agents connect other parts of the network
  • In agent networks the resources transported through the network include
  • System dependent on continued resource flows


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Introduction to schematic structures
Schematic structures are constructed from simple building blocks, such as nucleic acids or the letters of the alphabet.  These blocks are able to link together into groups, lists and networks, and directly or indirectly associate with agents(p.21)

  • Deployed based on a fundamental building blocks (1) which can: schematic string
    • Provide brick for agents, including genetic operators(p.24), to build structures
    • Represent a data value and be
    • Replicated and
    • Linked into lists (2)
    • Integrate descriptors, and addressable labels
      • Descriptors can be interpreted broadly by agents as for example valuations or epi-genetic control signals(p.15)
    • Associatively network
  • Any schematic sequence of basic elements can be interpreted by an agent as a signal (3) to perform a specific act
    • Agents position on the schematic structure represents a state and so the local sequence can be a signal
    • Becomes an association (4) between signalled event and the agent's action
    • Actions can include modeling(p.23) of a situation


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Agents: schematic aggregates generating action
Agents are emergent aggregations of catalysts.  The aggregations are formed schematically(p.20) associating programmed control of catalytic actions with different goals and events
  • Agents - association between goals and actions.  They
  • Perform actions (1) by focusing fundamental physical forces, marshaled as accessible stored energylogical agent
  • Respond to
    • Signals(p.15) from their environment (2)
    • Other agents
    • Their own state (3)
    • From this aggregation goals emerge
  • Constructed from active structures formed from re-combinable building blocks 
  • Utilize a schematic plan(p.20) (4) to indirectly associate the signals with actions
  • Invoked under operon control
  • Form emergently


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Emergent agents process environmental signals(p.15) and their instance of the schematic plan to select actions which they perform
Agents can interpret the schematic structures as they please, but acted on by evolutionary selection(p.26) beneficial associations of signals and actions transform into strategic attributes of the system
  • A labeled element, operon, with associated actions corresponds to a goal
  • Specific goals can be associated with multiple, alternative actions
  • Individual agents can be deployed with a full complement of operons, but different, allelic, sets of associated actions
  • Filtering of labels and other tags provides a flexible control of flows(p.17)
    • Agents can filter, and integrate the flows of schematic elements to perform genetic operations(p.24)
  • Genetic operations provide the basis for learning, by correlating success in replication of schematic structures and the retention of valuable sequences with positive agent actions
    • Requires that agents actions are based on schematic signals
  • Total set of different germ-line schematic structures shared in genetic operations corresponds to the evolving state
  • Ability to replicate schematic structures allows for somatic copies to be augmented with highly specific state descriptors, while germ-line copies are left pristine
  • Multi-cellular agents are able to deploy different states in individual somatic cells


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Models provide agents with a schematic view of the world
  • Emergent agents(p.21) must be able to differentiate good strategies from bad.  Models assist them with making such decisions
  • They are hypothesis that use success or failure as an indicator of legitimacy
  • Correlation of model and schematic(p.20) agent action allows evolutionary selection to 'rate' models in particular niche situations
  • Agents can extend the evolved rating mechanism by applying a Shewhart cycle(p.28)


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Modifications to the germ-line structures are performed by genetic operators 
  • Emergent agents(p.21) can include genetic operators which allow reproduction to formally transform the current structures for the next generation
  • Genetic operators can equivalently be deployed via a discrete process called a genetic algorithm
  • Operations include: mutation, crossover, inversion, translocation, deletion, dominance modification


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Phenotypic alignment:
Emergent agents(p.21) competing in adjacent environmental niches gain fitness from synergistic network effects(p.18) 
Selection pressure re-enforces the process of alignment  
  • Mother's genes can generate agents which support their developing offspring.
    • Support will apply the mother's phenotypic strategies to the development of the offspring, which may be different to the phenotypic action of the offspring's agents 
    • Mother's genotype has aligned with the offspring's phenotype.  More generally,
  • Male genes can express phenotypically signals deployed with their sperm to inhibit a female from accepting further sperm (from competing males)
    • Induces an arms race(p.30) between males & females
  • Multiple genes may contribute to a phenotypic effect 
    • Alleles may compete for effect
    • Genes can be in separate bodies (males & females competing in the arms race above) 
  • The extended effect may be present whenever one organism appears to be manipulating another
Dawkins central theorem "An animal's behavior tends to maximize the survival of the genes 'for' that behavior, whether or not those genes happen to be in the body of the particular animal performing it.  "


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Natural selection: collecting situation specific beneficial recipes within an adaptive agent
Evolution: interaction of selection of agents(p.21), variation of schemata, heredity

Structure of schematic plan(p.20):
Schematic specification/control of operational cascades:
  • Schematically represented Darwinian pre-adaptations can recur generation after generation
  • Pre-adaptations become niche specific selective advantages
    • Association between niche and beneficial phenotypic effect is formed
    • Schematic amplifier can emerge


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Sexual selection:
 CAS(p.14) agents(p.21) reproduce using genetic operators(p.24) to
  • Integrate the schematic plans(p.20) of each parent
  • Indirectly select genetic structures
  • Particular phenotypic effects
    • Generation of a trait in male offspring and
    • Selection of that trait in female offspring
  • Responsible genes collocated in genomes of both expressive males and females (polygenes)


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Shewhart cycles: Walter Shewhart advocated the use of iterative cycles of: Planning, Doing, Checking and Acting to fix issues (PDCA)
  PDCA cycle emerges naturally in complex adaptive systems
  • Examples include the cell cycle, cell death programme, cell growth programme, Just-In-Time manufacturing
  • Plans in an adaptive system are schematic structures(p.20)
    • Associated with current environmental state indirectly through modeling(p.23)
    • Models generate predictions of results of performing each strategy
  • Performing, or 'do'ing, a highly valued strategy will result in some change of state of the agent(p.21) and its environment
  • Agent can compare (check) the result against the models prediction
    • Human agents evolved strategies often avoid checking so a required process supports the formation of the habit
  • If reality differs from the prediction the valuation of the strategy can be adjusted


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Strategies for success
Schematic aggregation(p.21) results in the emergence of goals and strategies - clusters of actions which are beneficial when a particular situation recurs
  • Flexibility - requires that different generic situations can be recognized and responded to appropriately
    • Schematic retention of good strategies allows these to be deployed when the situation repeats
  • Personality aligns around focus on the group and concreteness - Individualist Artisans and group oriented Guardians are interested in concrete activities
    • Individualist Rationals and group oriented Idealists are more conceptual
  • Guardian morality - punishment by the whole group, enforced by the Guardians, on those who cheat on their commitments to the group
  • Centralization - when agents migrate to the most connected regions of the network their influence increases
  • Prophylaxis - key nodes in a network can be supported by the close attention of multiple cooperating agents
    • Before they come under pressure
    • Often deterring competitors from moving to those nodes


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Strategies for success (continued)
  • Infrastructure amplification - uses structures that reduce startup costs of operations to catalyze flows.  Enzymes, banks and roads are examples
  • Evolved amplification - deploying rules and inducing a collection of agents to act
    • So that the inducer gain significantly
    • Even as the induced agents benefit a little
  • Platform - focusing agents on a network hub with
  • Structurally enhanced state - Compound signals, can be represented, and processed by cooperating networks of agents
    • General data structures typically limit what a single agent may represent
    • Representation is defined by the schematically controlled deployment of agents in the network under evolved pressure
  • Bundling - Shared schemata allow strategies to be deployed cooperatively, and differentially, so that specialized agents can operate as a super organism
  • Disruption - with limited energy and constraining models hub network agents can be induced to prioritize strategies
    • Guarantee their nodes collapse responding to newly joined low cost nodes


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