Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Adding Agents - Elaboration Patterns

There are many ways to add a new agent to a Southbeach diagram, so as to gain additional insight into the situation represented. A common one is to insert an agent between two others, thereby clarifying the effect between them. Here, we illustrate how to expand a model from an existing useful function, and from an existing harmful function. The eight possibilities are:

* Adding a harmful side effect (a complication)
* Adding a silver lining (useful output of a harmful function)
* Adding a 'necessary evil' - a harmful function which nevertheless counteracts the existing harmful function
* Adding a solution, an improving factor
* Adding a worsening factor - another problem
* Adding a contradiction - a useful function that also increases the harmful function
* Adding in a solution, which is unfortunately compromised by the harmful function
* Adding in a problem which is counteracted by the existing harmful function

A similar model  could be drawn around a useful function. It would share some of the patterns as before, but the language would change because of the change of perspective. For example, what was called an improving factor and a worsening factor in the context of a harmful function, could now be called barriers and enablers. Note also how the effects, and their color, are different between the two diagrams. For example, the contradiction above is an additional useful function which increases the central harmful function. Whereas in the diagram below, the additional useful function counteracts the central useful function. We want more of both, but one is decreasing the other.

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