Functional Boundaries

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The very edge of functionality.

I’ve been working through this issue on/in this blog for a month or so. The edge within an organization of the operations systems they can effectively manage. I introduced a term I’ve heard bandied about quite a bit the Operational and Functional Boundaries of the organization.

The reality of that problem like any other is that in fact the two are uniquely different. The functional boundary is the screen you are aiming your solution towards. You have to consider the reality of screen size, density and quality.

A 17 inch FHD display with 1.5 or more gigs of video ram driving it can easily and effectively play a full screen blue-ray movie. A Zune or iPod device can’t play full HD, but they can play close enough for the smaller size.

But you have to be aware of that delta in building future applications. Right now the gulf is narrower than it was 10 years ago. The original portable devices that were available had truly lousy resolution. The devices of today continue to get better but now you have other issues.

Ever notice that when you use a device that accepts swipes and other hand gestures that the screen size changes rapidly?

That is simply looking at one functional boundary. Like operations there are a number of other boundaries you have to consider.

  • Information security
  • Information itself (how much can the device handle)
  • Bandwidth (goes to how much information the device can handle)
  • Information quality and relevance (how quickly is the information useless, how quickly does the person need that information) The example of this functional boundary is an medical system or an airlines pilot. Any delays in information to either of those two professions can have severe consequences.

More to come…