Chapter 4

The Unseen Art and Emotion of IT

The Acme Inc. Philharmonic Orchestra: Knowledge as Notes, Leaders as Conductors, Programmers as Composers

Growing up human is uniquely a matter of social relations rather than biology. What we learn from connections within the family takes the place of instincts that program the behavior of animals; which raises the question, how good are these connections?

—Elizabeth Janeway

To create a software-based product, groups of knowledge workers are assigned the task of creating a solution. The construction process requires information technology (IT) and business professionals to collaborate deeply, exchanging thoughts and ideas until a shared understanding of the desired product emerges. Although they have common goals, each group of professionals sees, feels, and experiences the project using their different innate intelligences. Consequently, they speak about the same things but perceive them differently.

The business is on the outside looking in. These professionals see presentations, participate in meetings, review plans, and read documents; they touch the product development process through the physical reality of charts, words, and language. But the technology professionals cross over this physical boundary into the realm of the conceptual. They marry creativity with abstraction and conceptualization to translate this physical world into a technical design; they rely on flashes of creativity, strong visualization skills, and experience ...

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