EMBRACE THE SWARM

Distribute knowledge.

Use the minimal amount of data to keep all parts of a system aware of one another. If you operate a parts warehouse, for example, your system needs to be knowledgeable of each part’s location every minute. That’s done by barcoding everything. But it needs to go further. Those parts need to be aware of what the system knows. The location of parts in a warehouse should shift depending on how well they sell, what kind of backlog a vendor forecasts, how their substitutes are selling. The fastest-moving items (which will be a dynamic list) may want to be positioned for easier picking and shipping. The items move in response to the outside–if there is a system to spread the info.

Get machines to talk to one another directly. Information should flow laterally and not just into a center, but out and between as well. The question to ask is, “How much do our products/services know about our business?” How much current knowledge flows back into the edges? How well do we inform the perimeter, because the perimeter is the center of action.

 

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This is a blog version of a book of mine first published in 1998. I am re-issuing it (two posts per week) unaltered on its 10th anniversary. Comments welcomed. More details here.
-- KK