What are sense making frameworks and why are they important to e-Government strategy?

Different people have different perspectives. We need a way to bring all the different perspectives together. To do this we need to establish a set of common sense making frameworks to build a common understanding of what is going on.

Sensemaking frameworks are structured approaches used to help individuals and organizations make sense of complex and ambiguous situations. These frameworks provide tools, models, and methods to analyse information, gather insights, and develop strategies.

They are important because they help leaders and decision-makers navigate uncertainty, understand changing environments, and make informed choices. Sensemaking frameworks provide a systematic way to interpret data, identify patterns, and uncover hidden opportunities or risks. By using these frameworks, organizations can adapt more effectively to evolving situations and create well-informed strategies.

Below are the frameworks we use to make sense of the strategic landscape in eGovernment:


John Boyds OODA Loop
What does it do?Helps us understand how decisions are made and helps us diagnose where things may have gone wrong when problems arise
What does it say?All decisions cycle through 4 separate and distinct phases. These are: Observation of what is happening in the environment; Orientation and understanding of what has been observed; Deciding what to do based on this understanding; Acting on the decision; These actions then have some impact on the situation and this is then re-observed and the cycle then repeats.
Who uses it?US Marines, US Airforce
Who developed it?Lt. Col. John Boyd

2. Cynefin Framework

What does it do?Helps us understand what type of systems we are dealing with and which management methods would be appropriate to apply to each system 
What does it say?There are 3 types of systems, Ordered systems, Complex systems and Chaotic systems. Each one needs to be managed differently. Ordered Systems can be further split into Obvious / Common Systems and Complicated systems. 
Who uses it?IBM, UNDP
Who developed it?Dr. Dave Snowden

3. Wardley Map

Developed by the Leading Edge Foundation researcher Simon Wardley in 2005 while at Fotango
What does it do?Helps us map and understand what an operating environment looks like and where we should be investing our resources 
What does it say?All things evolve through 4 distinct phases driven by supply and demand competition. For technology these 4 stages are: Stage 1. Scientific Research is conducted into a some phenomena to understand it, Stage 2. Using the understanding of this phenomenon, tools are created to harness this phenomenon to solve some real world problem Stage 3. If valuable (demand side), more and more of these custom built solutions are created (supply side) and a market begins to from. As the market develops competition begins to intensify and then stabilise around a common design and the solution becomes a mass market product with very little differentiation. Stage 4. Eventually the solution becomes so standardised and commodised that it becomes a utility service, taken for granted by the general population until it is no longer available.
Who uses it?GCHQ. OECD
Who developed it?Simon Wardley

4. Business Model Canvas

Business Model
We’ve modified the Business Model Canvas above to suit government needs

Developed by Alex Osterwalder in 2005 from Strategyzer but modified since to suit government IMS needs

What does it do?Helps us understand if a particular solution should be implemented 
What does it say?All system designs MUST satisfy 3 conditions before implementation can begin Desirable – The solution solves enough of a problem for people that they are happy to allocate resources to its development and maintenance Feasible – the solution can be implemented with the allocated resources Viable – the solution can be sustained long term because the revenue streams exceed the cost structure of the system 
Who uses it?IBM, Erricson, 3M
Who developed it?Alexander Osterwalder

5. Governance Cube

Developed by Ano Tisam in 2017 at FFA
What does it do?Helps us understand and communicate the scope of a government system as well as the order in which it’s constituent components need to be implement and why they need to be implemented in a particular order 
What does it say?All governance systems have 3-axis in which a government system can be understood. These axes are the Governance Domain, these are the places where constraints OR stimulus can be applied on a system of government to influence the behavior of the entities operating within it; Governance Functions, these are the tasks that are carried out by governments to ensure the entities adhere to the rules; Governed Entities, these are the entities whose behavior we are trying to influence 
Who developed it?Ano Tisam

6. Data Management

Developed by Ralph Kimball in 1996 with the book, the Data Warehouse Toolkit
What does it do?Helps us understand how to architect a data management system.
What does it say?Data marts are repositories of data belonging to particular lines of business. The data warehouse is simply a combination of different data marts that facilitates reporting and analysis. Based on Ralph Kimballs “bottom up” approach (Note that this is in contrast to Bill Inmons “top down” approach, (i.e. the Data warehouse is the centralised repository, data marts are created from it)
Who uses it?NORMA, MMR
Who developed it?Ralph Kimball

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