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Refactoring 2 – the epoc-changing ROI multiplier
wealth managment
Image by Julian Partridge
* Good factoring is behind every economic epoc change we’ve ever had

Refactoring is not a new idea – it’s well known and widely used; particularly in software design – it’s how Bill Gates became a billionaire [and why he now has the power to do massive good for mankind].

But I think applying it with the same clarity that Bill demonstrated in his trade here, to the problem of helping mass entrepreneurship and job creation, and to economics itself could well be new.

Refactoring is about how things are divided-up.

I recall one of Sun Tzu’s arts of war was ‘dividing up the numbers’ for a general to effectively manage his command of his vast armies.

And Mr Smith made his big industrial revolution driver concept quite clear a millenia or two later: the ‘division of labour’; and showed us how this single trick was the diagnosis of the thousand-fold gains in productivity that he saw already happening way back then.

And he rightly saw that this was to be the cornerstone of the future wealth of the British Empire.

I’d also consider that refactoring was the principle concept underpinning Mr Arkwright’s innovation of the modern integrated factory town. And his enterprise system breakthrough ended-up refactoring the entire wealth-producing globe!

And refactoring was partly how we won the war, enabling us to build merchant ships in frantic plug-and-play slices instead of by the now old-hat, slow, traditional fleshed-out skeleton method, and so thankfully for all of us alive today, to build them at a much faster rate than Hitler could sink them.

And, back again to Bill and his global IT producing followers. it is in software engineering that refactoring as a managment tool became such an obvious winner. [Followers of rapid development methods like extreme programming will recognise it well.] It’s here that it really shines.

As the software that people actually want to buy changes on a daily basis, the practitioners of the old ‘quality’, slow and steady government-certified, financially crippling one-monolithic-slab-at-a-time process, just couldn’t hack it. Software producers had to reinvent themselves or die: and the slow changers did just that. RIP.

Well refactoring is not just a winning concept for engineering.

It applies everywhere.

Just like Sun Tzu saw [when ‘software’ just meant human education in strict moral values and methodical teachings], it applies to people-based problems as well as technological ones.

It applies to organisations of any kind, in fact.

To how companies may be restructured. To how towns and high streets are planned. How transport systems are integrated. How energy is produced and mixed before it arrives at your kettle socket. How your school years and lessons are timetabled. How your home life and work life are arranged. [whether you are allowed to have a home]

It applies to whom should pay the taxes and whom should benefit from them. It applies to who gets the good life portion and who gets the scraps.

It even effects how we think.

Adam Smith was already inseperably wedded to the cult of profit-based accounting standards when he crafted his own economics thesis at the time of his emerging industrial revolution. So he spotted the "natural" division between labour, profit, and rent. And he went on to recognise the traditional pattern of the usually complimentary, sometimes disasterously conflicting, new economic classes of entrepreneur: the merchant, the master manufacturer, the landholder, their trusty banker, and the King. [tho he didn’t see the future refactoring of the role and rights of women – not a futurist thinker, was our Adam, but a very gifted enterprise architectural seeer of the here and now, most certainly.]

I’d like to point out here that Adam Smith’s factors of his economic scheme are NOT laws of God. Neither are Marx’s, by the way, nor anybody else’s you might wish to preach.

Same goes for modern thinking: Public Sector; Private Sector; Third Sector. For-profit; not-for-profit; Coop; Ltd Company etc etc. These factor schemes [patterns] are also entirely modernisable.

How we factor enterprise, and its big picture, the way we run the economy, and all the technological and social and governance consequences which necessarily follow, are entirely a matter of human ingenuity. [or inhuman obstinance, depending on your point of view.]

And any enterprise and economics factor scheme does *not* have to be deemed immutable once it’s chosen; like a one-size-fits-all-for-all-time straightjacket, either.

And thinking about it, go way back to the magna carta [it means ‘big charter’, David. It’s like A POLITICIAN’S MANIFESTO! (you have to shout: he’s a bit deaf sometimes!)] and, there again, you have a perfect example of a refactored end-product in action: a new division of the identity and power for the nation, a new political order, and the reusable pattern for all laws and democracies ever since.

So refactoring as a tool can be applied to any walk of life that you might deem important enough to warrant your apriori attention…

Like to the role of government departments, say; or to the desirable focus of UK production for the next hundred years or so…

Or to the scope of the Pound [ie how many jobs it serves]. And to the scope of the Dollar and the Renminbi and the Euro [if that should exist at all] for that matter…

Or to what you’d want your vote to stand for, and what our political party factions should stand for [they seem all very out of date to me… Not third millenium stuff at all!?]

You could even apply it to…….. How we might build effective national programmes and systems to stimulate and nurture our fledgling growth enterprises and our massive investment in good new UK jobs! [where is Julian going with all this!??]

You see, Bill got it sussed way back. He made his microsoft computer architecture so cleverly factored that any third party entrepreneur might quickly dive in and invent some new-fangled world-beating gizzmo for it that everyone just had to have [and which made them and Bill and all of us in the enteprise chain a shed load of profit and new joy as a consequence]. With his transformational vision of good factoring applied not only to good product engineering but to good world-dominating business models as well, I see that Bill actually inspired an avalanche of positive enterprise and social change; and it’s an avalanche that just keeps on coming.

* And there’s the catch.

If you don’t want change, then refactoring is not for you.

Or, looking at it the other way round, if you’re pants at refactoring [and design, and apriori joined-up thinking in general…] then the best way to prevent the obvious survival threat you now face in this highly competitive and insatiably changing world, would be to block and stifle all hints of change in the bud. [I’m thinking of Amish society here, as well as our good old British establishment ways perhaps, like our tittly little org known as the BBC!]

‘No change’ is not necessarily good or bad! It just depends on the situation that’s in front of you.

And this is a point I’d stress again:

* The value of refactoring depends on the situation you face in front of you – ie in the future; not on how things used to look in the past

So the concept of refactoring in developing good product architecture of all kinds is sound, and it’s potentially very valuable to society.

You only have to think wisely how you intend to use it.

See also:

7-Level Design

REFACTORING SUMMARY DEFINITION

Refactoring: the art of rethinking how a large object may be more beneficially divided into regular component parts, or factors. Redesigning the architecture of a product.

The power of the refactoring method is in its application to whole product lifecycles, to all aspects of the inception, creation, supply and use of a product, not just to the internal construction of a design. [Eg look at the whole future lifecycle of your enterprise and refactor it across multi-dimensions; don’t just look at your currrent company headcount structure, say, and change a few heads around – doesn’t achieve much except worker annoyance!]

The effect of refactoring is to increase the scope of factor reuse. So there are a number of general directions where to look for refactoring opportunities, as described here:

Known product: looking only at the product in hand. Seeking faster delivery.

Opportunistic: producing tightly factored components expecting some as yet unknown future use for them. Eg building a product reuse library. Seeking more ROI.

Future lifecycle: refactoring how your timeline is deployed and mapped to product changes. Seeking better capacity utilisation.

Process: defining repeatable process steps, to deliver a unique product perhaps. Seeking faster startup.

Pattern: refactoring the design process itself. Seeking cheaper newness.

Component: defining common parts and materials. Seeking easier development.

Interface: defining common fit and function in end use. Not requiring changes in user skills or habit, for example. Seeking lower cost of ownership.

Another openREDtool to power your job-creating journey.

Copyright Julian Partridge www.flickr.com/julianpartridge some rights reserved.

Attribution:
Original to author.

Streetscape in Keene New Hampshire
wealth managment
Image by Keene and Cheshire County (NH) Historical Photos
TITLE
Streetscape in Keene New Hampshire

CREATOR
Wardwell, Anne, Keene NH

SUBJECT
Houses – NH – Keene

DESCRIPTION
"Architectural continuity on Court Street is achieved by a wealth of excellent examples of successive 19th and 20th century architectural styles. Here are two delightful Italianate style houses, probably built around the 1870s."

PUBLISHER
Keene Public Library and the Historical Society of Cheshire County

DATE DIGITAL
20090305

DATE ORIGINAL
1975

RESOURCE TYPE
slides

FORMAT
image/jpg

RESOURCE IDENTIFIER
hsykfok063

RIGHTS MANAGMENT
No known copyright restrictions.

Queen Anne House in Keene New Hampshire
wealth managment
Image by Keene and Cheshire County (NH) Historical Photos
TITLE
Queen Anne House in Keene New Hampshire

CREATOR
Wardwell, Anne, Keene NH

SUBJECT
Houses – NH – Keene

DESCRIPTION
"Here is a good unaltered example of the Queen Anne style, probably constructed between 1880 and 1895 when this type of building was fashionable. With its irregular massing and wealth of decoration, it is typical of many similar houses in Keene."

PUBLISHER
Keene Public Library and the Historical Society of Cheshire County

DATE DIGITAL
20090129

DATE ORIGINAL
1975

RESOURCE TYPE
slides

FORMAT
image/jpg

RESOURCE IDENTIFIER
hsykfok036

RIGHTS MANAGMENT
No known copyright restrictions.

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