There are a thousand ways to use Southbeach, just as there are a thousand ways to use a spreadsheet program. This page describes one way that Southbeach models can be used in business or engineering projects.
Imagine you are in a workshop attempting to draw a new business process model. You are forty five minutes into the meeting, and an elogent process model has been developed. Everyone is looking pleased with themselves. Then, the quiet guy at the back looks up and says, "But that won't work because of X, Y and Z".
We have all been there.
Suddenly, the whole room is buzzing, and you quickly realize that the way the model has drawn started off on the wrong basis. It's back to the drawing board for the model. You need the input of the team, but they are no longer prepared to spend another hour developing a new picture. You have lost them.
Southbeach cannot think for you, but it accelerates the process of contributory thinking.
Southbeach Notation is an additive or 'contributory' notation. Nothing you can add to the diagram invalidates its logic, it can only enhance it. The constructs of useful and harmful elements, and increasing and decreasing effects, allow everyone to contribute their knowledge, ideas and perspectives.
The notation was designed to capture disagreement, as well as agreement, with no need to continually re-work the diagram. This will become very apparent once you being to work with Southbeach.
If someone says something is useful, another person can add knowledge to explain how it is also harmful. Yet another can explain how to overcome that problem. As that solution idea is added in, another person can demonstrate their knowledge, by explaining the potential side effects. If a real disagreement breaks out, simple decomposition techniques, can resolve it, without the need to redraw the diagram.
As new knowledge is added, directions for improvement begin to appear. If the workshop is focussed on an idea, the idea gets better. If the workshop is re-designing a product, the focus for improvement becomes clearer. If it is a new system being designed, the shortfalls in the design are quickly revealed.
Create a new model, drawing on past work, then drill down into the situation. Use creativity rules to generate insights. Associate notes and web links for background evidence or reference.
Write a consulting report, adding rules to extract key information and relationships from the model. Export the model to a spreadsheert for further analysis. Paste models into final documents. Export images for a blog post.
Drag out dialogs, mouse functions and short-cut keys enable you to build models quickly and easily. You should be able to keep up with workshop attendees without distracting or, worse still, frustrating them.