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Concept of method

Method/practice/labor/activity/engineering/'working process' --- is the way the work will be done. It is a functional definition, a unit of reusability in work, pattern/similarity in carrying out multiple tasks.

Method/practice --- is a functional view of the creator system's behavior as an organizational role/functional object. Work --- is a constructive view of the creator system's behavior as an org-role/constructive object.

So method is realized by the work performed by the role specified in the method/practice. However, this is not how it is said, but they speak of applying the method in work.

In the method/practice/activity, there may well be steps in time, but they are given as relative, without being tied to specific time moments, sometimes referred to as "logical time." Absolute time (linked to the calendar and clock) appears when work is actually carried out according to this method, as a physical process (not a 'working process' or 'development process', which often means the same method/practice/way of working, but a physical process as physical changes occurring from the interaction of some physical/constructive objects in 4D space-time). So here it's the same: just like "Prince Hamlet":: org-role appears in the physical world when it is played/realized by "Vasya Pupkin"::constructive object (and before that there is only its description, but Prince Hamlet in the physical world does not exist), so does "modelling with tables"::practice appear in the world only at the moment of its realization by the work "modelling in the methodology course during the classes on 23rd Martober 2024." The practice/method are performed by the org-role "student", but work is carried out by a specific organization unit playing the role of a student, for example, Zinaida Fyodorovna.

The creator is the "creating system"/agent/IPU, which performs work according to some method/practice/activity/engineering, ultimately leading through a long chain of creation to the creation of the target system. Method/practice is a function of the creator's org/activity/work role, and work is the service of the creator as a physical object/agent/IPU. Of course, in the interactions and changes in the course of work, other physical objects are involved - work products (consumables, tools, equipment). But we remember (from the systems thinking course) that we find it convenient to use the concept of a creator, as David Deutsch defined it in constructor theory: this is a system that can repeatedly change/transform other systems, while remaining unchanged itself. For example, a catalyst molecule. Or a machine. Or a robot (a machine with a computer). Or a human (who can create five robots, remaining unchanged, or even create another human, remaining unchanged!). Or a transnational corporation.

Methods are usually fractional. The method is usually the highest level of division into practices, all the practices necessary to achieve the work result are called by this word, sometimes practice/labor/activity/engineering/'development process' is considered a "method" (that is, including all the ways of doing work that will be required to achieve the results of the work, all the necessary changes), but the result of the division is called a "type" - "type of practice", "type of activity", "type of engineering", "type of work", etc.). Fractionality of work/activity/method in terms of performing parts of a method by different agents is often called division of labor, and obtaining new types of work is called deepening of the division of labor. "Division of activities" and "deepening of the division of activities" are no longer talked about, the fractionality is traditionally discussed mainly with the word "labor". However, they could say "sub-practice", "working sub-process", but not "sub-labor" or even "sub-method", "sub-activity". Avoid talking about "super-method", just say "method". The terminology for discussing the division of labor is quite limited and restricted, but the very idea of the fractionality of the method, moreover the ability to fragment the method in such a way that its parts are distributed to different org-roles, in which different agents will then specialize — this is an extremely important idea. Especially often the idea of division of labor is discussed by economists, because it allows each worker to specialize in different work methods (professionalization), and also to shift some of the work from humans to machinery/machines, which sharply increases the economic efficiency of production.

For example, engineering in general is engineering of anything, but there are types of engineering as separate "engineering practices". These "engineering practices" are "one and the same" — you can say engineering practices, practical practices, working practices, activity practices, practical activities, engineering activities, engineering engineering, etc. Everyday language is rich, the same thing is meant by one term repeating another "just in case", showing different shades of meaning. But in our course, these nuances of meaning are not very important. Our task is to define some concept used in the methodology and give it a name so that we can discuss it. And what it is called in everyday speech in various natural languages is a minor matter. Call it what is convenient, but do not confuse org-roles and constructive objects, practices and the work that implements them, functions and the services that implement them. The functional and constructive worlds are different, we think about the functional world at the moment of operation/functioning of the target system, we think about the constructive world during the creation of the target system, that is, during the operation/functioning of the creator.

The concept of practice is counterintuitive, people very poorly realize that any work of theirs (including any work of a team of people, in fact, any work of a machine) is performed in a certain way. People not trained in methodology cannot separately discuss the work and the method of this work, for this purpose special training in methodology is needed. Our course is dedicated exactly to this training: so that when looking at a working person you always ask yourself — can the result be achieved by another, more efficient method, can the advantages of division of labor be utilized.

The description/view of the method (ideal object!) is called methodology. The documentation of the methodology (work product, physical object!) may be called methodics. Of course, there are dozens of synonyms for these concepts: you may come across BoK (Body of Knowledge), you may come across "regulations", you may come across "life cycle model", "instructions", "description of the work process". In each subject area, at each company, there may be its own term for the description of the method (view) and for the method of describing that method/practice/work/engineering/activity.