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A lot of this may seem like common sense.  Like much penetrative thinking, it seems simple and obvious once put together.  It is common sense, but Green has a telling phrase “common sense doesn't scale.” A ‘hero’ may be able to keep a small team focused on the business while considering the human factors, but for that to happen in a larger team, chances are you'll need some thinking tools.  I think VPEC-T is such a tool.


And just one final point about that name.  It's actually very useful.  “VPEC-T” turns out to be a compressed mental checklist that can quickly be played back in your mind in meetings, as you write up the findings of a study or as you discuss the information system ‘to be’.


I hope this has tempted you to look into it more and maybe give it a try.  The cost of doing so will be negligible.  It will affect your thinking in a positive way when studying how an information system is to be changed or built from the ground up


The only book I know of that covers VPEC-T so far is Lost in Translation by VPEC-T's originators, Nigel Green and Carl Bate (Evolved Technologies Press).  What I've described in this article is just the essence of the new thinking, but the book goes a lot deeper, of course.  It does occasionally read as if written by a committee of consultants (hey, I'm a consultant, I plead guilty as well), but that concern quickly fades when you see the power of the message it puts over.


Sources of more information: Green's 2006 article “The problem with processes” was the first publication of some of the concepts behind VPEC-T, and his recent “Tao of IT” series of posts looks like a promising source of further thinking on the topic. The book itself “Lost In Translation” is available on

Lost in Translation


Roy Grubb 2008 All rights reserved
Hong Kong


(Thanks are due to Adrian Apthorp for tipping me off about VPEC-T.  I understand from Nigel Green that Adrian was one of the first guinea pigs and providers of feedback during the development and verification of the ideas behind VPEC-T.)





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