Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Design Funnel ... Fish-Hook-Fry Metaphors ....

In my research and study using the latest versions of Microsoft Expression Studio and Visual Studio, I have been impressed with how they have treated the design and development area. In the book “Dynamic Prototyping with Sketch Flow in Expression Blend” by Chris Bernard & Sara Summers QUE c 2010 there is a nice chart shown here that does a good job of presenting the gap between design and development. It fits well with other thinking as discussed in blogs at

In the blog the ISCORPIO Metaphor was introduced with emphasis on Innovation and Customer. Also in that blog a diagram of “Thinking Phase Views” ( shown below) was described that shows degrees of freedom of innovation beginning wide with outward thinking, then progressing to critical and then inward as the solution options become narrowly defined. This metaphor of the “Fish-Hook-Fry” was an early metaphor thinking that illustrates this narrowing of the degrees of freedom in the innovation development process.

A PDF file showing the two charts with notes is available at Comparing the two charts in the mid area where “Miracles Occur Here!!!” and “Critical – Understand” relate to similar areas in the Design Funnel. To the left of Critical “Outward” would correspond to “Ideation (Sketching)” and to the right of “Inward” would correspond to “Usability (Prototyping)”. Beneficial insights can be gleamed from reflection on both charts.

In the  blog, I proposed we should add Imagination and Innovation to STEM and call it “I-STEM”. This was expanded on in and blog  references

Triad Design Leadershop website which documents the concept of Create – Change as conducted by five heavy hitters in the Creative Design area.

• David Rose – Designer of Tactile and Environmentally Aware Devices

• Bill Grant – Designer of Business and brand Experiences "Design is more than Decorating"

• Claudia Kotchka – Change Agent and Design Evangelist

• Jason Manley – Interactive Media and Game Designer

• David Adjaye & Phil Freelon – Innovative Architects of Public Sector Spaces

It appears these illustrations speak quite well to the concept of “I” in my blogs on “I-STEM” and “CTE-I-STEM Cookie”.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quality - White Glove ...

Quality – White Glove ….

This blog is a companion to It introduced the idea of Productive Innovative Engine (PIE) Team Players as represented by fingers, each of the fingers and arm is focused on the creation of a product or service.

This blog brings the concept of Quality to bear on the PIE Team.

The following definition of Quality came to me in the 1990s when I was teaching at NCA&T.

“Quality comes from Ownership with Integrity and appropriate Resources in a healthy Paradigm – lhb”

Note, that an “O” and an “I” make a “Q”. At first I started with Ownership, Integrity and appropriate Resources, but after thinking about it, realized that you could have Ownership, Integrity and appropriate Resources, but not necessarily have Quality. When you have an environment that is at cross purposes and discourage things working compatible together, that is not a healthy paradigm and Quality suffers.

This concept of Quality has been robust and has been accepted by many as the essential ingredients of Quality. It does not supersede other Quality concepts but complements them.

While reading “Skunk Works” by Ben Rich & Leo Janos, and thinking about the recent BP Oil Spill Disaster and the Space Shuttle Disaster, it triggered me to include Quality as an integral part of the PIE Team. Quality has always been a part of PIE Team thinking but is not quite as evident as needed.

I propose in this blog to add a second hand with a white glove that brings to bear quality described above. In Military Inspections the white glove inspection was a way of determining if the barracks was clean.

When you think of the white glove, which also has five fingers they stress the importance of various types of quality that is normal in industry. It also places emphasis on having appropriate resources such as financial, skills, tools, processes, facilities, best practices, etc. Creating a culture for a healthy paradigm is a primary function of the Quality hand. The Quality Hand must be vested with competence and authority to over ride poor decisions made by the PIE Team. In other words Safety and Quality must not be pre-empted by schedule or profit drivers.

ISO 9000 standards are responsibility of PIE Team and White Glove Team.

Maybe the concept of PIE Team Finger metaphor and white glove working together will result in a Creative/Innovative Quality Product/Service. It is worth thinking about.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wanted: Economy with a motor ...

In today's News & Record there is a headline "Wanted: Economy with a motor".  In the graphic below it shows this headline along with two views of PIE Team and the workforce by skill level.

As was discussed in the previous blog "Create-Job-Opportunities-with-PIE" the concept of planting Productive Innovative Engines (PIE) in the schools and jobless networks was presented.  It also discusses the Hats vs Fingers Metaphor.

In the report "Tough Choices or Tough Times" power point slide 8 shows a graphic "Profile of Successful U. S. Firms in the Future."  A modified version is shown at the left with relative salaries for various levels of the workforce; it also has the creative work emphasized.  It depicts a diamond area of creative work which is very similar to the PIE Team as discussed in several of my blogs

A modified version shows the profile of work types also with relative salaries.  In addition Creative Work, this chart shows Operations Work, Outsourced Work and routine work that has been Automated.
In the Worker Displacement Chart, it depicts various types of worker displacement by:
  • Automation
  • Outsourcing
  • Inadequate Resources
  • Failed Company

In addition it shows that there are worker jobs that were created by Automation.

PIE Teams are a potential answer to the headline "Wanted: Economy with a motor."  In other words PIE Teams and other concepts are discussed in my blogs which present new ways of thinking inside and outside of the box.

By planting PIE Teams in Schools and Jobless Networks they:
  • Perform Creative Work
  • Create Products/Services
  • Create Operations Jobs
  • Automate Bad Jobs
  • Outsource non-competitive Jobs
  • Provide a Competitive Edge.
I welcome feedback to the concepts and suggestions discussed in this blog and other blogs.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Create Job Opportunities with PIE ...

We hear Jobs, Jobs, Jobs; we need jobs. This blog brings to the table a view that we must have a proactive approach to creation of jobs.

Drawing on Metaphors from M21C thinking, the concept of planting PIE Teams is a proactive way to get people thinking about the primary functions that create Things and therefore Jobs. The graphic expresses this with emphasis on hands and fingers. A new metaphor for the six hat team is presented using the fingers of a hand and the arm.
Earlier thinking had been to plant PIE in Schools but later thinking focuses on also planting PIE in the Jobless Networking groups. Rather than calling it Pre-college Innovative Engines (PIE), maybe we should call it Productive Innovative Engines (PIE) which would apply to Schools as well as Jobless Networking groups. Both would benefit from PIE Team thinking.

In the previous metaphor of a PIE Team, a room was used with the Entrepreneur (Business Hat) in the center and four corners representing the Marketplace (Customer Hat), Production/Service (Technologist Hat), Design/Development (Engineer Hat) and Research (Scientist Hat). The hall represents Global Supply Chain (Logistics Hat) which connects rooms together with channel for flow of supplies and goods between rooms. The Entrepreneur (Business Hat) manages the resources of all hats toward a productive, efficient and profitable enterprise.

Recent thinking has evolved another metaphor which uses the fingers of the hand and arm to denote another view of the PIE Team. In the hand graphic the PIE Team is represented by the fingers as follows:

• Thumb – Business (Entrepreneur)

• Index – Customer (Marketplace)

• Middle – Technologist (Production/Service)

• Ring – Engineer (Design & Development)

• Little – Scientist (Research)

• Arm – Logistics (Global Supply Chain) – Moves Stuff

Bringing all five fingers together is the PIE Team. This metaphor gives flexibility to show the Business – Entrepreneur (Thumb) interacting with the other fingers either individually as shown by the thumb and index holding a product that is of interest to the Marketplace. In other cases it may be focusing on the Production/Service, Design & Development and Research. In this metaphor the arm is the Logistics which moves stuff in the global supply chain. One thing to note, the focus shifts dependent on the product development cycle.

In one of the videos of Partners for the 21st century education there is a young person that says "I am learning my fingers are the gateway to my future."  She is probably thinking of a musical instrument but the words also apply to the PIE Team Fingers Metaphor.

Recently when I was sharing this PIE Team concept with Dr. Margaret Arbuckle - Guilford Education Alliance and Mr. George Clopton - Polo Ralph Lauren, George said it sounds like the “Skunk Works”. I had not thought about it like that but it does fit. I suspect they had PIE Teams in the Skunk works”.

Wikipedia cites “Skunk Works is an official alias for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs (ADP), formerly called Lockheed Advanced Development Projects. Skunk Works is responsible for a number of famous aircraft designs, including the U-2, the SR-71 Blackbird, the F-117 Nighthawk, and the F-22 Raptor. Its largest current project is the F-35 Lightning II, which will be used in the air forces of several countries around the world. Production is expected to last for up to four decades.

The designation "skunk works", or "skunkworks", is widely used in business, engineering, and technical fields to describe a group within an organization given a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy, tasked with working on advanced or secret projects”

More information is available at “Skunk works”.

In the graphic of all hands out represents PIE Teams working together to create Jobs in an enterprise environment.

I summit this to the table which is thinking about how to best create jobs. It may not create the jobs immediately but would provide a strong position for future product development that requires people with appropriate skills and entrepreneurial thinking from being part of a PIE Team.

Post Script 12/7/2010
Continued thinking of the PIE Team hand metaphor today expands the palm to include the following:
  • Products, Processes and Service   (Triggered by "What Grows an Economy" blog)
  • Appropriate Resources
  • Skill Sets & I-STEM
Appropriate Resources and Skill Sets & I-STEM are mashed together to get the appropriate Products, Processes or Service solutions.

Adding the palm strengthens the PIE Team Metaphor.  Feedback is welcome.