Many people ask me, what the heck this “Polygonal Solution Area” is and where it resides.
The following is one attempt to describe, what is totally clear to me, but hard to transfer as I experienced.
I am working in a broader Software Development context and I have an University degree in law. I am not practicing as a lawyer. I have learned the fundamentals of the lawyers view to the world and that influences my perspective in general.
In determination of what is possible to fulfil a request, I use this approach to define the width of the area where to search for solutions.
It is much wider than most people can imagine at first glance.
On the other hand, there are limits that need to be known for focusing on where a solution is even possible or wanted.
/terms and conditions
First of all, You need to be clear about wording and meaning.
Then You can grasp an image of the complete impact possible.
The term “definition” comes from Latin and means “declaration of limit”.
It is rarely used in physical relation and mostly shapes the outer limits of a particular meaning.
most people are blurry in using definitions where some basic and severe misunderstandings result from.
there are no mistakes in definition.
Every mistake or error is resulting from wrong application of a word with an insufficient meaning – not from the word itself.
So, as in programming: You need to declare before use.
The solution area is defined by the outer limits of what is possible and compliant to law which underlies.
This can be laws of nature, science, habits and yes, even the man-made law system You want/need to comply with.
/where do I find my solution?
For specification of a topic to realize, You need a functional request first and the limits within solution will be found.
These limits are constraints relying on natural law, man-made law and restrictions in phantasy.
In theory some restrictions are dictated constraints for a good reason.
In practice, most of these restricting decisions are made for bad reasons or without any sensible reason at all.
But these are different stories …
There are lots of opportunity to make mistakes in the field of possible.
Fill it completely until You start worrying about the impossible.
I am quite sure, there will be nothing left to worry at all.
/How to sell Pink Shirts?
There is this huge lot of Pink Shirts.
Heinz is a Sales Representative of a Düsseldorf based fashion company.
The lot of Pink Shirts lies around their warehouse.
He has a tense homophobic mindset and reservations against people living in Cologne.
But, he is also a professional salesman – “As long as I must not wear it …”
He has this idea about selling the shirts to some men in Cologne.
He wanted to achieve this via direct eMail advertisement to avoid travelling to Cologne.
He believes, these shirts will be bought mostly by gay men.
He arranged a meeting with people who, he suppose, can help him.
- Tim is a young developer with a straight-forward attitude.
- Lars is the “Lord of Data” (DBA)
- Frank is responsible for smooth and quiet (IT) operations.
- Finally, Michael is companies’ lawyer.
He is responsible for legal compliance of any attempt.
He wasn’t invited by Heinz, but Frank got “such a feeling” as he read Heinz’ invitation.
Heinz explains his idea.
I want to get rid of these shirts.
Therefore, I need a list of all gay men of Cologne who bought similar stuff.
I want to assure that we get our money.
So, can You tell me, whether sold items are finally paid?
I need that immediately.
Lars has nothing against, except the fact that their database currently does not store sexual orientation.
Tim has the idea to compensate by incorporating external data sources to get wanted data about intended addressees.
Lars is fine with it.
Frank estimates the retrieval as no critical at all.
Michael cries “Stop! Are You nuts!!?”
>> “There is no way, You get information about sexual orientation with such a reason – here in Germany!!”
>> “You might get name and contact channel if we got permission to do so.
Do we have consent to use data this way?”
“As I see the situation, the only set of data You can get in the moment, is a product which is sold at a particular price and whether it is paid or not.”
“If we have a valid consent for addressing people from our side, You might get related personal data. If we do not have it yet, You need to implement and request consent in addition (and in separate!) and for future activities. There is no way that we ask afterwards, because we do not have permission for existing data where we did not asked in past.
I am concerned about the relation between the fact of payment and person relation. On the other hand, You are in the Sales Department. You need to know whether You will get money at all. Maybe it is a smarter solution to choose CC-payment or similar as mandatory. But, that are just my 2ct. I guess, it will be OK, once You get consent to do so.”
Heinz now has an orientation what is possible and where the limits run.
The guys who will realize his solution got an idea where the limits are, too.
They only need request for CHANGE from Heinz.
What did we see?
- Heinz’ idea might work. We cannot say, currently.
- Technical possibilities might be restricted by other domains.
If You do not have intuition Yourself, You need someone else with relevant competence.
- You can extend possibilities by applying pre-requisites.
You just need to ask.
- Some things are restricted, even if You ask.
Even if the owner of some data sees no problem at all – for now.
Your parliament often protects people who do not realize they need protection.
Nobody claimed, the Polygonal Solution Area is a subject of beauty and harmony.
It is just what is inside the aspect of people with different position and perspective.
In this example, Heinz can have an initial, minimal solution based on available data.
In addition, the team identified the need for asking customers to consent to storing their data for a particular future use (here: eMail Ads).
Once significant amount of data is collected, Heinz can set up a mailing to address potential customers.
So far, so good.
There are some questions which might be worth asking.
- Does anyone asked what “immediately” should mean?
One day or less than a minute?
- How can You determine that someone lives in Cologne if You only know an eMail address?
How can You determine someone’s sexual orientation without asking explicitly?
- Is it really relevant to address customers?
- Isn’t it sufficient to address “all”?
- Maybe it is just Your personal (limited) aspect ratio that prevents broader success?
- Are Pink Shirts limited to a very special group – there, where You came from?
There might be differences to where You are now.
You might consider reflection about Your prejudices.
You cannot think about everything in advance and by Yourself.
You can get help for determining the field where to sow the seed for success.
Use Your environment and especially help from people that differ from You.
You need to talk to relevant people at once – not one after the other.
By asking in presence of them all, You tap Your source of creativity, nourished by complexity.
Yes, it is a tedious work to set up these meetings.
You need to refer to people that might be out of Your everyday reach.
Yes, it is also tedious work to sketch out the limits of possible.
Yes, it is not necessary to draw an exact line at the outer limits. You just need to assure, that You extend Your view to areas of possible and prevent searching for the impossible.
Results can astonish You and everybody else.
It is great joy, once You got used to and established this approach.
/etc (additional sources)
- What is a Polygon?
Remember, You can fill every polygon with at least one triangle 😉
- What is a framing bias?
Most people’s worries result from framing too narrow.
May all Your needs vanish into reality.
Live long and prosper.
Life runs in circles. Some are smaller, some are bigger.
In the end, there is no end – only another beginning.
Enjoy, and share what You like. Feel free to make life great by doing so!
/request for resonance
I would like to ask You for three quick actions, with little effort on Your side and great benefit for all – You, future readers and me for understanding and improving what matters most.
- A “Like” is a nice signal of acknowledgement.
- Feel free to forward this post to somebody who gains benefit from it.
You will find some tools for easy sharing below to this article.
- Additionally, interaction is necessary to do great.
Please, share Your thoughts by commenting (below) or contacting directly.
Remember, a topic gets shape by questions AND constructive disagreement.