Capturing a situation that span a long time in Rich Picture

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Capturing a situation that span a long time in Rich Picture

Postby jamesWtc on Sun Feb 28, 2010 8:30 pm

If you recall the Child Support Agency case study in Block 1 of T306, the case spans the duration of several years, pre- and post-implementation of the CSA.

Rich Picture, in my opinion, only "captures the moment" of which the problems occur. I find it difficult to draw a rich picture that spans a longer time, during which policies/rules and stakeholders may have changed. (How could you denote the situation change and it related events in the same diagramming space).

Of course, we can draw a rich picture that incorporate chronological development on the case, but this is just too overwhelming and I'm not sure if it really helps a great deal in understanding the situation that we are interested. Furthermore, if the case has the exciting history for 100 years, the rich picture itself can be way too complex.

So, what is your approach to rich picture in the case of CSA? Drawing multiple rich pictures to depict the situations of different stages? Drawing just 1 rich picture to capture the "current" stage that we are interested to understand?

Comment please.
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Re: Capturing a situation that span a long time in Rich Picture

Postby Teiana on Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:43 pm

i think generally i'd aim to capture 'now'. But i might draw something to indicate history... particularly if one aspect had changed a lot. Or a picture within a picture, such as a drawing of someone looking at or thinking about what has happened. i am not sure what the best way is to generalise the statement 'i am aware of many changing factors in the history of this situation' into a rich picture snapshot. I don't think there's necessarily any value in 'multiple rich pictures' since they are all viewed through todays eyes.. they wouldn't really necessarily represent the time frames they were meant to... If it were a case though of a simple before/after or 'then/now' representation i might be tempted to split the page with a big zigzaggy split line and draw two halves.. but that only works if there's a way to make it clear why that's been done..it's no good if it just confuses the issue..
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Re: Capturing a situation that span a long time in Rich Picture

Postby jim_lewis1 on Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:46 pm

I think that multiple rich pictures of snapshots in time can work, especially if they are developed one at a time, so that the veolution can be seen later when comparing them.

For the CSA rich picture I had a few elements that were essentially simplified graphs of things like rising divorce rates etc. a graph against time clearly captures time series data, and a representation of such a graph just about fits the ethos of rich pictures.
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Re: Capturing a situation that span a long time in Rich Picture

Postby Andrea on Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:22 am

This is a fascinating dilemma because, for me, there are two issues that need a temporal representation:

1. How the situation "out there" has evolved over time;

2. How my understanding and feelings about the situation have evolved over time.

And the two can easily get confused.

So, I would try and draw as many rich pictures as I would have time for, with clearly labelled dates and possibly a short piece of text outlining what I felt about the situation at the time of drawing.

It is difficult though to try and produce original pieces of work everytime -- I have a tendency to copy stuff from previously drawn rich pictures. It would probably help not to look at the previously drawn stuff.

On the other hand, I'm not sure how many extra insights one would gain from all this unstructured investigation -- once I've figured out the key relationships, I tend to focus on other diagramming techniques (and try to find some "real world" data to validate my models).
esse sequitur operari
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Re: Capturing a situation that span a long time in Rich Picture

Postby Teiana on Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:00 pm

This is a fascinating dilemma because, for me, there are two issues that need a temporal representation:

1. How the situation "out there" has evolved over time;

2. How my understanding and feelings about the situation have evolved over time.

And the two can easily get confused.

So, I would try and draw as many rich pictures as I would have time for, with clearly labelled dates and possibly a short piece of text outlining what I felt about the situation at the time of drawing.



surely this only works if you're In the situation as it's happening, not if you are provided with a done-deal situation that has already been happening for years...you can't go back in time and start drawing how you felt about situations you weren't in that have already happened..the question was, how to deal with a case study situation where the history of it needs to be represented somehow...are you saying you'd create 'dated' rich pictures with previous dates on , eg, 1984, 1990, 2001.. ?? i can't see how that would work because you can't avoid looking at it from the now perspective...
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Re: Capturing a situation that span a long time in Rich Picture

Postby jamesWtc on Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:51 pm

Andrea wrote:So, I would try and draw as many rich pictures as I would have time for, with clearly labelled dates and possibly a short piece of text outlining what I felt about the situation at the time of drawing.

It is difficult though to try and produce original pieces of work everytime -- I have a tendency to copy stuff from previously drawn rich pictures. It would probably help not to look at the previously drawn stuff.


But it is difficult to "feel" about the situation that has evolved in retrospective, where our understanding and perceptions can be easily "fooled" by our current emotional state towards the situation.

Of course, I am not sure to what extent the importance of looking back and understand the situation in its historical context, but it may have impact to our perceptions and subsequent insights.

P/S: I'm still pondering if it is relevant at all to our systemic understanding. If the historical development is not captured in Rich Picture, can we understand the problems from wider perspectives? Time will tell...
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Re: Capturing a situation that span a long time in Rich Picture

Postby Andrea on Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:51 am

jamesWtc wrote: it is difficult to "feel" about the situation that has evolved in retrospective, where our understanding and perceptions can be easily "fooled" by our current emotional state towards the situation..


That, for me, reveals the power of rich pictures, where the images that you draw are not only an exploration of the complex situation but also a window into your emotional state at the time of drawing.

But going back to the issue of capturing one's understanding of a complex situation as it evolves over time -- surely the situation isn't "complex" just at a singular moment in time? Like any wicked problem, the complexity of the situation can transform itself as it plays itself out: different stakeholders become involved; feedback dynamics downplay some structures/processes and augment others; etc.

I don't see why one can't draw a rich picture of the situation's complexity during different time periods? Even if this is only a historical analysis. of course, how you "feel" about the situation now (knowing the outcome) will inevitably colour your interpretation -- so what?
esse sequitur operari
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Re: Capturing a situation that span a long time in Rich Picture

Postby jamesWtc on Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:32 pm

I have my rich picture drawn up, and everything I look at it, I see it differently. :D
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Re: Capturing a situation that span a long time in Rich Picture

Postby Andrea on Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:37 am

jamesWtc wrote:I have my rich picture drawn up, and everything I look at it, I see it differently. :D

And I guess the temptation is to redraw it, but don't forget that this is an unstructured exploration -- if the insights that you are gaining by looking at the rich picture are to do with identifying patterns, then maybe it's time to move on to a more appropriate diagramming techniques?

I was thinking last night how one could symbolically represent "the passage of time" and the associated dynamics within a single rich picture, and I suddenly remembered the use of the "arrow of time" symbol. For example, below I have represented very crudely my perception of the changes in relationship between university administrators (the one wearing a tie) and academics (the ones with beards and glasses):

arrow of time.jpg
arrow of time.jpg (14.39 KiB) Viewed 1876 times


The great thing about rich pictures is that they also reveal subconscious perceptions - for example, both my characters are male -- something that I did not purposefully intended to draw, but it does reveal my unconscious perception of a male dominated environment
esse sequitur operari
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Re: Capturing a situation that span a long time in Rich Picture

Postby jamesWtc on Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:55 pm

Right... a lot can be learned from Rich Picture. I never enjoyed so much in T214 drawing a rich picture.

But in the case study of CSA, I'm forced to shift attention to the situation rather than the problems as they are presented to me (one of the trap, which I only read after my rich picture). I can no longer pay attention to interpretation and analysis from the readings/reports, but to look at the overall picture.

richpicture.jpg
richpicture.jpg (196.5 KiB) Viewed 1875 times


This is not really a complete picture of my CSA study... but please let me know if I did anything wrong.
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