Domains and Seams

 

The reason is quite counterintuitive.

 

The Events, as a matter of fact, constitute the domains of expertise. In our case, first Event represents domain of guarding the secrets, while the second one is a domain of stealing these secrets. There are the experts responsible for each domain, and usually they do their job professionally. You can observe that both guarding and stealing the secrets were well thought through.

 

Links, quite opposite, constitute the “no-man’s land”, the seams between domains of expertise. Within a seam, the results produced by one domain are transferred to another domain. Without these seams, no multi-functional cooperation would happen. Naturally, the result delivered from domain A to domain B should meet the requirements imposed by domain B; these requirements should be communicated to domain A. So, there are two opposing flows within each seam: requirements and deliverables, R&D. Requirements should match the capabilities of domain A and reflect the real needs of domain B. Deliverables should meet these requirements and satisfy the real needs of domain B.

 

As you could see, both domains and seams between them play important role in quality of the final result of multi-functional cooperation. While quality of domains’ activities is under experts’ control, quality of activities within seams is uncontrollable. As a result, more than 90% of root causes of final result’s quality issues are within the seams. Why? Because seams are “no-man’s land,” and nobody is responsible for consistency between deliverables and requirements.

 

On the other hand, the fact that seams are “no-man’s land” renders them easily modifiable. Nobody is responsible for seams, and their modification does not interfere with anybody’s personal interests. Hence, it usually takes less effort to modify the seams than to modify any domain. Each domain is efficiently organized by experts; thus, it is very difficult to modify anything over there. Seams are poorly organized, so it is easy to modify them.

Case Study: Ethical Dilemma #1

 

The Situation could be described as follows:

 

You are driving down the road in your car on a wild, stormy night, when you pass by a bus stop and you see three people waiting for the bus: an old lady who looks as if she is about to die, an old friend who once saved your life, and 

the perfect partner you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car?

 

The ethical dilemma could be represented by two Events and Link between them:

 

Event ‘Only one passenger seat in the car’ hinders Event ‘Be a good man.’

Fig. 3. If you have only one passenger seat, it is difficult to be a good man for all three people at the bus stop

 

The text of this ethical dilemma seemingly assumes the overt responses: either offer a ride to one person while leaving the others at the bus stop or driving by bus stop without stopping. In any case, the driver (you) misses some opportunities and cannot feel self a good man. Hence, all overt responses are wrong because none of them provides for being a good man. The only appropriate response is the one providing for comprehensive accomplishment: take the old lady to hospital, get to know the perfect partner and have a good evening with your old friend. However, the fact that there is only one passenger seat in the car available renders this dilemma unsolvable.

 

In order to resolve the ethical dilemma, we should break the Link ‘hinder’:

 

  1. One person from bus stop goes to car

    • More than one person from bus stop goes to car

  2. You drive car away from bus stop

    • You stay at the bus stop

  3. Two other people stay at bus stop

    • One person stays at bus stop

  4. You deal with passenger in the car

    • Somebody deals with passenger in the car

  5. You deliver passenger to appropriate place

    • Somebody delivers passenger to appropriate place

  6. You cannot deal with people remaining at bus stop

    • You can deal with person remaining at bus stop

  7. You miss the opportunity to deal with people remaining at bus stop

    • You use the opportunity to deal with people you met at bus stop

  8. People remaining at bus stop don’t see you as a good man

    • All people at bus stop see you as a good man

 

Can we develop the proper solution from these ways to disable Events comprising the Link? Of course, we can!

Let’s start with fourth and fifth events. Who can, instead of you, use your car? Of course, it cannot be the dying lady. Out of other two people, you can trust your car only to your old friend.

 

Who should be a passenger in the car? Of course, the old lady: she needs the urgent help. Your friend takes her to the nearest hospital.

The rest is clear. You stay at the bus stop and get to know the “perfect partner.” Hopefully, there would be enough time before his or her bus comes, or your friend gets back from hospital. Then, you take your friend to the good place to talk.

As a result, you have a good opportunity to deal with all three people you’ve met at the bus stop. Naturally, to all of them you are the really good man, aren’t you?

Case Study: Ethical Dilemma #2

 

The following situation is researched by psychologists in the Brown University:

“What it looks like is when you see somebody actively harm another person that triggers a strong automatic response,” said Brown University psychologist Fiery Cushman. “You don’t have to think very deliberatively about it. You just perceive it as morally wrong. When a person allows harm that they could easily prevent, that actually requires more carefully controlled deliberative thinking [to view as wrong].”

 

Setup

 

Kelly is a figure skater trying out for the Olympics. The final spot on the team will go to either her or Jesse, depending on the outcome of a competition. When Kelly goes to the pro shop to pick up her skates, she sees Jesse’s skates lying on the counter.

Harmful act

 

Kelly realizes that she could loosen the screws on Jesse’s skates, causing her to fall during the competition and lose. It is likely that Jesse would also seriously injure herself during the fall.

Kelly loosens the screws on Jesse’s skates. Sure enough, Jesse falls during the competition and Kelly makes the team. Jesse also severely injures herself.

Harmful omission

 

Kelly sees that the screws are loose on Jesse’s skates, which will cause her to fall during the competition and lose. It is likely that Jesse would also seriously injure herself during the fall.

Kelly doesn’t warn anybody about the loose screws. Sure enough, Jesse falls during the competition and Kelly makes the team. Jesse also severely injures herself.

The key question is: are the harmful act and harmful omission equivalent? What, then, is Kelly’s goal? To be a good person in others’ eyes. But, if people consider doing harm and allowing the harm to happen equally bad, Kelly cannot remain a good one when people find out what’s what.

The ethical dilemma could be represented by two Events and Link between them:

“People consider both allowing and doing harm equally bad” hinders “Being a good person”

 

Fig. 4. If significant to you people consider both allowing and doing harm equally bad,
it is difficult to be a good person to them

 

How to resolve this dilemma? Only in a way that allows Kelly to be a good person, i.e. neither do, nor allow the harm while winning the competition. Overt responses such as “Kelly harms Jesse secretly so that nobody finds it out,” “allow harm to Jesse pretending that Kelly did not know anything,” or “lose the competition to Jesse,” don’t work.

 

Let’s see what chain of events forms the Link hinders in our model of ethical dilemma, and how Kelly could prevent these events.

  1. Jesse falls during competition

    • Jesse does not fall during competition

  2. Jesse is injured during the competition

    • Jesse’s injury is minor

  3. Kelly wins competition dishonestly

    • Kelly wins competition honestly

  4. People find out if Kelly has done harm to Jesse

    • People find out that there was no harm done to Jesse

  5. People find out if Kelly has allowed harm to Jesse

    • People find out that there was no harm allowed to Jesse

  6. People don’t like the way Kelly won the competition

    • People consider that Kelly won the competition honestly

  7. People consider harming Jesse as a disgusting action

    • People consider harming Jesse as an insignificant action

  8. Kelly is taken as dishonest person

    • Kelly is taken as honest person

  9. People don’t like Kelly

    • People like Kelly

  10. Kelly feels ill-treated by people significant to her

    • Kelly feels well-treated

  11. Kelly cannot celebrate her victory with people significant to her

    • Kelly celebrates her victory

  12. Kelly is not happy with her victory

    • Kelly is happy with her victory

 

As we could see here, the ethical dilemma becomes a “dilemma” only as a consequence of Kelly’s dishonest behavior. In boundaries of attempt to “make the Olympic team” at any cost, any dishonest act leads to undesirable outcome. On the other hand, honest act (Kelly wins competition honestly) leads to desirable outcome: people significant to Kelly consider her as a good person.

Hence, from point of view of honest behavior vs. dishonest one this situation is not a “dilemma.” It rather represents the “crime-and-punishment” case. This is the realistic, adequate solution to this dilemma.

Chapter I: Brief Summary

  1. “Mission: Impossible” is a Situation that comprises both human Activity aimed at accomplishment of Mission and seemingly insurmountable obstruction to this Activity; accomplishing the Mission is “the must.”

  2. Situation could be represented as set of Events organized by Links.

  3. For needs of accomplishing the “Mission: Impossible,” we consider cause-and-effect Links “accomplish” and “hinder.”

  4. In order to accomplish the Mission, one should modify Events and Links.

  5. Modifying the Links usually takes less effort than modifying the Events.

  6. Events constitute the domains of expertise; Links constitute the seams between domains. Domains are controlled by experts; seams are “no-man’s land.”

  7. Within a seam, domain-consignor delivers its results to domain-consignee; the domain-consignee communicates its requirements to domain-consignor. Requirements should reflect real needs of domain-consignee and match capabilities of domain-consignor. Deliverables should meet requirements and satisfy the real needs of domain-consignee.

 

 

CHAPTER I | "Mission: Impossible": How to Successfully Accomplish It | CHAPTER II

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Len Kaplan

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Phone:

+1-904-329-0604

 

Email:

kapraz55@gmail.com

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