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Structure Continuum

posted Jun 8, 2009, 9:24 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jul 14, 2009, 2:39 AM by Eddie Woo ]
"Your major project can be viewed as a "problem" in the technical sense. Where does it fit on the structure continuum, and why? Which features of the project lean towards the structured end and which lean towards the unstructured end?"
The major project contains different parts and some parts are structured while others are not, making the major project partly both, known as semi-structured.
To be fully structured, which is not actually very possible to be 100% structured, the following features must be present:
  • Inputs defined in detail.
  • Outcomes accurately predictable.
  • Results can easily be "ranked" in terms of how effectively it meets the problem.
  • Decisions can be "programmed" using rules, quantitative methods and heuristics.
To be unstructured, the following features must be present:
  • Inputs vague or difficult to describe/unknown/unstable.
  • Outcome highly chaotic.
  • Results cant be compared because criteria is vague.
  • Decisions defy programme because they are highly subjective and require intuition,
With the major project, when looking at overall, we are required to accomplish particular things in terms of specific content which needs to be there and we know that they will be there, hence the inputs are defined to a certain detail  and the outcomes are predictable to a certain degree. We also have files to upload and they are uploaded. There needs to be navigation which will be set in a particular way which has to link to the pages that are there.
On the other hand, many components will be unstructured, especially since our own projects and it is our subjective perception of what looks better - such as which images look nicer or what layout is more convenient. All the things described just then can all vary in terms of how it is presented to users and one option is not necessarily better just because it looks better personally, hence a vague criteria. Also, one day, a decision might be made but is then quickly changed when preferences alter or some technological constraint forces us to not be able to accomplish what was originally planned.