Sunday, January 28, 2007
Document Case Studies With D-O-C-U-M-E-N-T
A CHECKLIST FOR DOCUMENT ENGINEERING CASE STUDIES AND NEWS STORIES
D -- data types and document types
O -- organizational transactions and processes
C -- context (e.g., types of products or services, industry, geography, regulatory considerations)
U -- user types and special user requirements
M -- models, patterns, or standards that apply or that are needed
E -- enterprises and ecosystems (e.g., trading communities, standards bodies)
N -- the needs (business case) driving the enterprise(s)
T -- technology constraints and opportunities
I think the only one of these that might be unfamiliar is the C for context. I'm using it in the sense developed during the ebXML initiative. about 2000. In my Document Engineering book with Tim McGrath we explain "Context" in Chapter 8 this way:
The ebXML project proposed eight context dimensions.
These can be envisioned as defining a multidimensional "8-space" or coordinate classification system in which millions of different contexts would be distinguished by their values on each dimension.
We can best explain this idea with an example. Consider an export broker buying aircraft fuel in
Business Process = Procurement
Product Classification = Aircraft Fuel
Industry Classification = Petrochemicals
Official Constraints = Export
Business Process Role = Buyer
Business Supporting Role = Intermediary
I don't think this idea of "context 8-space" is workable, but it is useful to think of a "context" as a cluster or pattern of high-level requirements and that's the sense I'm using it as the C in the case study checklist.
In any case, the first assignment in my Document Engineering course this semester requires the students to analyze a case study or news story using the D-O-C-U-M-E-N-T checklist. So we'll see if it works and I might ask them if I can post some of their stories and analyses here so you too can help decide how useful this mnemonic is.
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