All, here is an excellent paper:
What I find interesting is the emphasis on science.
"Relying on common sense to make such decisions is unreliable, as the effects of graphic design choices are often counterintuitive."
Moody here is criticizing statements by the originators of the Unified Modeling Language. I think similar observations might be made of the existing IT management frameworks' choice of terms - the all important concept of ontology.
What can we learn from this paper in developing a reference architecture for the business of IT? Moody makes the case that the human factors implications of symbolic choices are well understood; there are applicable theories. I would suggest similarly, we need more rigorous insight into semantic choices, the process by which they are made, and the effects they have.
Why is it that architects, project and application professionals have been unmoved by proposed ITIL terminology such as (for example) Service Package? Word choices are powerful and often signify tribal affiliation. A thousand years after the Norman conquest we still have "beef" (Norman) and "cow" (Anglo-Saxon) reflecting the power structure that emerged (the consumer vs the producer).
I think it's problematic when the development of a framework intended for broad consumption is restricted to a small community of "experts." Small group power dynamics can result in suboptimal decisions, and I think it's time for broader, more empirically based ontological work as a required input into domain architectures. Recent advances in semantic mining and automated ontology creation I think show the way, although the need for frameworks to be mutually exclusive and comprehensive means that it can never be fully automated.
So, in developing a common framework for the business of IT that might actually have a chance of wide acceptance, I think it is important to have some level of sociolinguistic awareness. I think this needs to be significantly quantitative; really don't want to get bogged down in postmodernism. Not sure of the exact research lines… any ideas?
(Here is the full cite if the link above breaks)
IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SOFTWARE ENGINEERING, VOL. 35, NO. 5, NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2009 756
Moody, Dan. The “Physics” of Notations: Towards a Scientific Basis for Constructing Visual Notations in Software Engineering