Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence


We systemize tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge

Blog Enabling Operational Excellence


Max Tay, Australian BPM consultant, commented[1]: Here is one of the meanings of meta: When you create new layers of abstraction between the thing or event, you are becoming more meta. Example: A footnote that is needed to explain another footnote is meta. My reply: I accept your implicit definition of meta-footnote: footnote that explains (other) footnotes … in the sense of ‘footnote that explains how to go about footnoting’. But I don’t accept your example: “A footnote that is needed to explain another footnote.” That’s ‘decomposing’ or ‘expanding on’ the original footnote … just going to a deeper level of explanation. Decomposition (to a deeper level of detail) or abstraction (to a more general version) is not the same thing as meta-. This same misunderstanding is rampant for metaprocess. Expanding the level of detail (decomposing) a process does not mean the original process is meta. http://www.brsolutions.com/

[1] This series of point/counterpoint replies is a follow-up to my post “Meta Here. Meta There. Meta Everywhere?” (March 31, 2014), which generated a surprising amount of great discussion. (Thanks all!) Refer to: http://www.brsolutions.com/2014/03/31/meta-here-meta-there-meta-everywhere/ The definition I’m using for meta- is from Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary [3b]:

3b: of a higher logical type – in nouns formed from names of disciplines and designating new but related disciplines such as can deal critically with the nature, structure, or behavior of the original ones *metalanguage* *metatheory* *metasystem*


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Ronald G. Ross

Ron Ross, Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rules Solutions, LLC, is internationally acknowledged as the “father of business rules.” Recognizing early on the importance of independently managed business rules for business operations and architecture, he has pioneered innovative techniques and standards since the mid-1980s. He wrote the industry’s first book on business rules in 1994.