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RE: [ba-ohs-talk] IBIS question

Just to jump in the discussion regarding documenting the relative merits of
the reasons in favor of or against a decision.    (01)

I don't think its possible do this in any kind of absolute way.    (02)

Why?    (03)

Things change. People change. The enviroment changes. The economics change.
Values change.    (04)

What might be documented as the relative pros might turn out to be relative
cons later.    (05)

How so?    (06)

2 examples of major changes that changed relative merits - 9/11 and Enron.    (07)

Airplane Flying - Before 9/11 - No problem. After 9/11, well I haven't flown
since...on vacation or business    (08)

Accounting & Law Professions - Before Enron - Pillars of Society. After
Enron - newspapers talking about them like the mafia!    (09)

So in any situation close to approaching real life decision making
its hard to document the relative pros and cons without actually
documenting all the underlying assumptions of continuity of the status quo,
and other things
if this documentation is to make sense later.    (010)

I think the best that can be done is to make explicit as possible the
rationale of the decision, keep the "story" of how the decision was made and
who was involved in arriving at it. Basically the "browser of the decision
history" needed to review the information about the previous decision, will
probably have to include a human as one of its components - that's where the
"store" of understanding about the wider context of the decision is kept.    (011)

As all human things, the human is not infallible, and brings their own point
of view to the situation. This component might be called the
"custodian" of the decision history. There will likely need to be ethical
principles for people who are Decision Custodians down the road.    (012)

So, we're back to co-evolution of the human and tool system.... how did Doug
anticipate all this stuff????    (013)

Mei Lin    (014)

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ba-ohs-talk@bootstrap.org
[mailto:owner-ba-ohs-talk@bootstrap.org]On Behalf Of Johannes Ernst
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 10:10 AM
To: ba-ohs-talk@bootstrap.org
Cc: Jeff Conklin
Subject: Re: [ba-ohs-talk] IBIS question    (015)

Jeff,    (016)

I appreciate your advice on how to better use IBIS-as-is for my
example problem. In fact, I probably
should have thought through my example a bit more before posting it
to this community because the example most certainly has its flaws as
I outlined it... on the other hand, I'm still not sure even with what
I learned in the various responses that IBIS-as-is can represent what
I (speaking only for myself) would like to represent.    (017)

>Anyway, in my experience IBIS is terrific for capturing the reasons for
>decisions.    (018)

I agree, that's why we put it into our product.    (019)

>   It's true that IBIS doesn't help you make a decision.  As Horst
>Rittel often pointed out, decision making is a social process, and is very
>context-dependent. In my experience there's no mechanism or trick for
>making real decisions, but that's another story.    (020)

I agree with that, too, but what I'm missing is a better way of
documenting the relative merits of the reasons in favor or against a
decision. In other words, why I made a decision in favor of Idea 1,
as opposed to Idea 2 given that both had the same number of pros and
the same number of cons, for example. (Let's just assume for a moment
that I'm the only person in the picture, it's a single person
decision rather than a group decision).    (021)

What I'd like to capture and document for reference purposes is
something like "I think that the cons for Idea 1 are small compared
to the 2nd con for Idea 2, and the pros of Idea 1 beat all pros of
Idea 2."    (022)

So half a year later I, or whoever else after I was hit by the truck,
can go back and say "ah, he thought Pro 12 had so many advantages
that he chose to live with Con 34 -- well, that's not true any more
because of changing conditions of some sort, and this was the crucial
consideration that caused the decision to go in favor of Idea 1 as
opposed to Idea 2. That probably means we have to reconsider ..."    (023)

Maybe my usage scenario for IBIS is a little different than
originally intended -- not for facilitating group decision making,
but for decision documentation.    (024)

Do I make sense?    (025)

Cheers,    (026)

Johannes Ernst
R-Objects Inc.    (027)