Large-Scale Collaborative Design
For large scale collaborative development to occur, there are 3 scales of operation for contributors. This applies to any collaborative design, whether CAD, graphics assets generation, video production, documentation, or enterprise creation etc.
The 3 scales or Levels are:
- Generation of atomic assets - such as a single part in CAD, an image, an icon, software module, electronic diagram, a diagram, a video clip, etc.
- Assemblies or Compositions - such as an entire product in CAD, a movie, a product brochure, uor any finished product.
- Global Collaborative Process - coordinating the entire process towards creation of Extreme Enterprise and thus Distributed Market Substitution.
At each level, the base atomic unit of development must be defined. Ie, what constitutes an 'atomic unit'? An 'assembly'? An Extreme Enterprise?
In Level 1, individuals work on a specific part. Multiple individuals can work on atomic units by mainatining work logs, and reconciling design merges as late in the process as possible according to the Second Toyota Paradox. There is no locking of design as in typical design processes, because the effort is an open process with open boundaries for unlimited collaboration potential. The prerequisite knowledge for Step 1 is as small as basic proficiency in the atomic tool of choice (FreeCAD, Blender, Inkscape, SweetHome3d, etc). Such proficiency can be attained in 1 hour using a common software platform such as OSE Linux combined with effective rapid-learning materials for that tool. This should allow a complete novice to join the process and make meaningful contributions within one hour of onboarding time.
In Level 2, coordination of moudules and interfaces is performed, based on preliminary interface design which defines how parts fit together. For this to be done effectively, collaborators need to understand the modular breakdown of the product of interest, so that they can make the assemblies according to design rules. Design rules should be captured in a Design Guilde. Just like in Step 1, Test-Driven Design should be used, and reconciliation of design merges should be performed as late in the process as possible just like in Step 1.
The crash training required for Level 2 collaboration should be around one hour, to coordinate people around concepts of Wikis, Realtime Cloud Collaborative Editing, Work Logs, Part Libraries, and Version Control.
Level 3 requires more process design and business process design understanding so that business processes can be developed towards viable enterprises. Product managers at the Step 3 level should leverage Extreme Enterprise strategies including incentive challenges, backed by hands-on build events, enterprise opportunities, and product acquisition strategies for stakeholders with direct interest in the product. The direct stakeholders thus fund the product development, under the assumption that an important product is being developed.
Basic Coordination Requirements
- Focus. If audacious goal is clear (such as getting past COVID), focus is still needed to develop products fully.
- Scalable platform - wiki is used in OSE's work. Social media, Jitsi Video Bridge, part libraries, FreeCAD, are all examples of scalable platforms. Scalability key is simplicity and rapid onboarding.
- Rapid Onboarding - one hour onboarding course for basic performance, and 4 hours for integrated process. One week (40 hours) for qualified process managers, who are ideally product owners.
- Collaborators - who is collaborating? Need a team based on massive transformative purpose, where 10x Is Easier Than 2x
- Documentation - most important asset. The OSE wiki is our repo.
- Development Process - standard product development, such as embodied in Development Template
- Task division - Kanban board, modular breakdown of Module Based Design, Collaboration Architecture
- Prototyping - Ideas are nothing without prototypes to validate them. There are many ways from 3DP, to calculations, to partial prototypes of Test-Driven Design. Doable via hackathons, startup camps, Incentive Challenges,. Extreme Manufacturing Workshops, Summers of Extreme Design-Build
- Review - SMEs and users feedback on the development
- Communication - video, social media, Slack, collaborative video protocol.
- Distillation - upvoting. Critical.
- Application - Developers must either engage in dogfooding or production/distribution to outside markets
- Physical Plant and Hardware - dev kits, meetups, conspiring/development places, hackathons
- Stigmergic Design - Team Story Game for Collaborative Video protocol; seeded templates on the wiki. Wiki assets for a stygmergic, construction set appraoch.
- Agility - Things change fast. A common trend for large development attempts is: (1) things explode in fruitful activity; (2) things collapse from all the activity. The solution is protocols and collaborative literacy of protocol-users. When documenting, always think of the next iteration, and how that will be documented, and how your documentation can be scaled readily to other projects, modules, and systems. Any development project should be Fractal - both self contained, but also a building block.