Starting the next 15,000 words for the research project!

I took the plunge a few months ago and registered for the 1 year research project (T802) as the capstone of my MSc Systems Thinking in Practice. I will need to conduct primary and secondary research, and write it up in 10-15,000 work dissertation. Luckily there was a break before the course started and I … Continue reading Starting the next 15,000 words for the research project!


Becoming a data management professional

What does it take to become a data management professional? One answer is to land a job in the field and get paid ūüôā However, I am more interested in professional development as per Lindsay's framework for professional learning (2016). In that model we become informed professionals by doing courses but there are another 2 … Continue reading Becoming a data management professional

The Leader’s Data Manifesto & Data Centric Thinking

Your organization‚Äôs best opportunities for organic growth lie in data. But most¬†organizations are far from being data driven. We find no examples of fundamental company-wide change, without committed leadership and the involvement of everyone at all levels of the organization. The Leaders Data Manifesto While researching for the M816 Data Management course I came across … Continue reading The Leader’s Data Manifesto & Data Centric Thinking

Tesler‚Äôs Law of Conservation of Complexity:

I loved this article and it inspired me to write something about IT systems integration.

Harish's Notebook - My notes... Lean, Cybernetics, Quality & Data Science.


In today‚Äôs post, I am looking at Tesler‚Äôs Law of Conservation of Complexity. Larry Tesler, who came up with the law, worked at Xerox PARC, Apple, Amazon, and Yahoo in different capacities. He was one of the brains behind ‚Äúcut/copy and paste‚ÄĚ functionality in word processors. The basic premise of the law is as follows:

‚ÄúEvery application has an inherent amount of irreducible complexity. The only question is: Who will have to deal with it‚ÄĒthe user, the application developer, or the platform developer?‚ÄĚ

This is an important idea in the user interaction with a software application. One of the best examples to explain this further comes from Dan Saffer‚Äôs excellent book, ‚ÄúDesigning for Interaction.‚ÄĚ Think of the email application. It needs a ‚ÄúFrom address‚ÄĚ and a ‚ÄúTo address‚ÄĚ. Without either of these two items, the email cannot be sent. All, if not most, email applications will automatically populate‚Ķ

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Constructivism, Cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) and Expansive Learning

To remain employable, we need to keep learning, but need to be effective, efficient and efficacious in the way in which we go about it. (Assuming that you need to simultaneously hold down a job, learn and enjoy life.) The U810 CPD in Practice course should help achieve that and I recently read a a … Continue reading Constructivism, Cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) and Expansive Learning

Engestrom ‚Äď Expansive learning at Work: toward an activity theoretical reconceptualization

Disruptive Technology Enhanced Learning

Engestrom’s opening position is not controversial: who are the learners, why do they learn, what do they learn, and how do they learn? However, as he moves into analysis his position becomes more complex, and broadly Marxist.

Engestrom sees contradictions as a potential source of learning. Furthermore, he describes contradictions as ‚Äėhistorically accumulating structural tensions‚Äô. This carries echoes of Marx‚Äôs idea of dialectical tension. Moreover, Engestrom seems keen to locate his analysis in economic and political contexts: ‚Äėthe primary contradiction of activities in capitalism is that between the use value and the exchange value of commodities‚Äô (p. 137).

Engestrom directs his analysis to the impact of technology: ‚ÄėWhen an activity system adopts a new element from the outside (for example, a new technology or a new object), it often leads to an aggravated secondary contradiction where some old element (for example, the rules or the division of labor) collides with‚Ķ

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