Monday, February 25, 2008

TRMs and change

Categorisation systems

As with any system of categorisation when the data to be categorised is known and/or static it is easier to develop a useful system of categorisation, and the systems of categorisation seldom needs to be changed. When the data to categorised is unknown of changing quickly it may be necessary to change the categoisation system i.e. based on changes in the nature of the data.

Technical Reference models (TRM) are often used to categorise an enterprises technologies or the of types of technologies that could be used by an enterprise (often along with product catalogues, which indicate which specific vendors products are being employed).

TRMs for Technology Visioning

TRMs are put to a number of uses one of which is technology visioning (where the TRM provides categories for fact, beliefs, implications, standards, patterns etc.). TRMs are also used for investment planning (when the things categorised are assets, products etc.).

When looking ay technology visioning i.e. looking at technology trends and directions based on new and emerging technology products and announcement almost by definition the data to be categorised is changing quickly and/or unknown. So in this area it is likely that a TRM will need to evolve.

In areas where technology is fairly static the TRM will probably be fairly useful (correct, accurate, well balanced) because the technology is fairly static it will not be the focusing of technology visioning i.e. trends, directions and changes.

In areas where the technology is changing quickly the TRM will often need to be reviewed as technology and business paradigms change i.e. new categories may be needed (e.g. with old categories splitting or merging).

To make this feasible one needs a way of changing the TRM but keeping the associations of elements (facts, technologies, assets, products) to the TRM.

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