IBCS: how standardization streamlines understanding

💁‍♂️Question: I have found that many struggle to completely understand the meaning of an IBCS visual with so much “busy-ness” with labels and arrows

It’s about more than just one “busy” visual. It doesn’t make much sense if it’s just for a single visual. It involves a mindset. Teach users to understand IBCS notation once (it’s not as complicated as it looks initially), and then they will understand all charts and reports. Labels and arrows are bad when they are not standardized. Standardization is what makes IBCS easy to understand.

💁‍♂️Question: I can’t see this as “Yes sure I can do a report for you but you need to spend a few months learning IBCS standards and notations”

Months? For what? To understand the difference between black, grey, hatched, outlined, red, and green so you never again need a legend? To start just show the users a short (minutes long, not even hours) video.

Full implementation of IBCS standard is more complicated than just teaching the users to understand notation. And it takes much more to understand the standards for a report developer or consultant because it’s more than just a notation, and the notation is much more nuanced than the end user needs to know. But it’s not that complicated for the end users, who only need to get the basics of the notation for better report understanding.

Also, think about an alternative. Without a standard, users will need to learn how to understand every new report. No matter how oversimplified the reports are going to be, there will be a lot of confusion if reports are not standardized in some way within the company. Standardization is useful. And here we’re talking about something bigger than a company-wide standard – an international standard.

Is sheet music overcomplicated and confusing? Yes, for me. Not at all for someone who learned how to read it.

Is a blueprint overcomplicated and confusing? Not for an engineer.

Is a standardized business report overcomplicated and confusing for a manager? Is it more complicated than a mess of inconsistently formatted reports?

Should a composer or musician learn how to understand sheet music?

Should an engineer learn how to understand blueprints?

Should a business user (e.g. manager) learn how to understand business reports?

If you hear “we are not sure it’s going to work, it looks odd” from the users, who see IBCS-styled report for a first time and with no explanations, you’re most likely just a few shorts steps from “it works! we see the data much better than ever and we are already making business decision based on what we see!”.

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