Friday, August 19, 2011

Engineering and 8-D

The D in this case stands for the following de- or dis- words that represent the potential future of some portion of engineering and business:
  1. Demassification - - Restructuring of industries and organizations into smaller operating entities.  Custom manufacturing and independent print media are examples.  The key assumption is that things are shrinking is size and becoming more flexible, nimble, and responsive as a result.
  2. Decentralization - - Dispersing decision-making governance closer to employees and citizens.  The assumption that greater information flows, usually associated with greater use of information technology, will result in flatter and less hierarchical organizations.
  3. Denationalization - - The transfer from government to private ownership.  Ranging from the military to toll roads.
  4. Despacialization - - The assumption that place is no longer important.
  5. Disintermediation - - The assumption that the role of intermediaries is declining and that we can increasingly get our information from the source.  Google "Skin Cancer" - - at some level, the family physician is becoming an intermediary.
  6. Disaggregation - - The assumption that things get broken down into their component parts.  The counter-assumption is that someone needs a holistic view of how everything needs to fit together and work.
  7. Displacement - - The idea that information technology, globalization, and exponential productivity improvements produce a state of being continuously at risk for being displaced.
  8. Devolution - - The granting of powers from a central power or authority to a lower sub-level.

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