Services and Processes


This book will evolve to hold thoughts and references regarding services and processes. I'll be using the ITIL definition of "services". The book will be choppy and disorganized while I work out the organization. Resources:

  1. Dragon Naturally Speaking. I've an intuitive attraction to DNS, but I have yet to work out details. I've spent time training the application, only to discover I freeze when creating content. I've found through informal polling that other users have the same experience. DNS is highly effective, however, for sessions where the objective (final content) is clear; good examples are medical and legal professionals who need a textual file. I believe the critical element to being effective with DNS is to be trained and experienced in dictation. A problem I've encountered when seeking help is the variety of ways "dictation" is indexed. The version I'm seeking has relatively low hit rate, so it rarely appears in a Google search. Examples of (marginally) successful searches are:

    When I was stationed at the Pentagon in the mid '80s, I had the good fortune to work with a senior officer who had worked as an instructor at Maxwell Air Force Base. He had a "how to" for dictation. Unfortunately, he was a highly skilled typist. Since he could compose fastest with a keyboard, he w/could not relate to the people in the office who would have greatly benefited from being unshackled from the keyboard. I have an hypothesis: those who can dictate are able to construct a mental model of what they're trying to accomplish. Those who struggle with dictation, do not (cannot?) form that mental image. Perhaps if an image of the material were created, it would be possible to dictate using that image. Perhaps concept mapping would help; build the concept map, then use voice-to-text capture of the "telling the story".

  2. Concept mapping. Not to be confused with "mind mapping"; the overly codified approach pushed by Tony Buzan, but requires great artistic facility. I'm referring to the concept originated by Joseph D. Novac and Alberto Canas and described in The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct and Use Them. There are several concept mapping applications. I'll mention one now; FreePlane. I used to use XMind, until it became "cripple-ware" and unnecessarily expensive. I'm converting to FreePlane. While it doesn't have the layout templates of XMind, it is free, the Mac version uses the same hotkeys as the Microsoft version of XMind, and the native storage is XML (not binary as XMind). The attached maps can be read and modified by FreePlane.

To do: define the services that lead to processes that could be accomplished by voice-to-text. In other words, put the horse in front of the cart; define the requirement, then the solution (do not create a requirement for the solution). And get my notes from the November 22 seminar on becoming a government contractor to the Chief Warrant Officer.