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Three Rs in Context

May 21, 2018

In this post, I finish up this series on the three Rs. In the first post in this series, I asked, “Is there a model that will help us analyze and begin to address difficult obstacles regarding needed change, expansion of method or complexity?” The model I proposed involved three Rs: renew, refresh and rework, as summarized in Table 1. 
Table 1. A Three-Element Model to Address Modernization Obstacles 

When I developed the three Rs model, I was thinking specifically of an IT model that linked to the important topic of system and application modernization. Having discussed renew, refresh and rework in individual posts, I would like to put this simple model in context with others. 
Strategic Thinking Tools 
I am not an expert in models that are used for critical thinking, but, like you, I have found a few of them useful in making evaluations or thinking through problems. Useful strategic thinking tools have names like SWOT analysis where you examine and document strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a business decision. Another example is the Feedback Model where the focus is on advice, criticism, compliments and suggestions to help categorize feedback to establish a plan of action. These are just two of the models explored by Burak Gunbal. These tools to structure thinking aren’t specific to IT, but they are often used in the context of IT evaluation. 
IT Analysis and Thinking Models 
People in IT frequently use domain-specific models to do their jobs. IT architects will document their work in the context of a standard technical solution design (TSD) document. The templates for these work products are standard for two reasons. First, the template is organized to answer the well-known questions about any proposed solution. What hardware, software, labor, etc. is required to complete the solution? Second, the template is standard so that the people approving the proposed solution will be able to quickly review the document and apply their specific review talents—legal, risk, cost, etc. When companies propose a solution to a client, they inevitability embody risks of many kinds. 
As a teacher, I first came in contact with the Kroenke five component model. I have used it many times over the years in my thinking as a way to decompose a system and understand it better. By the way, the five components in Kroenke’s model are hardware, software, data, procedures and people. 
The Three Rs Reconsidered   
As Table 1 indicates, the three Rs are fundamentally a three-element model to address modernization obstacles. They are a way of thinking that can help you think about where an application is today and what tactics you might use to get it to a “better” future state. In my 2017 writing recap, I discussed my recent preoccupation with modernization. That post lists three articles that you might consider if you have an interest in modernization.
  1. “Benefit From Non-Disruptive Modernization With IBM API Connect,” May 2017.
  2. “Easily Modernize Applications to Stay Competitive,” January 2017. 
  3. “Modernize Legacy Systems to Enable Full Potential,” January 2017. 
There are links to the articles in the Jan. 8, 2018 blog post. 

Posted May 21, 2018| Permalink