Example: Building a Bridge

The construction of a bridge involves many different changes. From ideas to designs to team meetings to the actual construction, many elements, relationships, proximities and situations change. Additional examples of potential changes are weather, regulations, market conditions, personnel, accidents, delays, and new technology. Using some ProxPatterns helps manage the changes, and even some conflicts.

The nature of construction usually provides some tolerance for imperfection in order to honor the integrity of time constraints and the skill levels of different workers. Workers healthcare insurance, and construction risk insurance, can help people allow for the uncertainty and risk of building a bridge. Construction phasing allows some degree of smooth transitions, as it introduces related elements, and makes them more proximate, at appropriate times. Cell phones, email, and wireless computing allow a variety of people and groups related to the project to stay in touch.

As you can see, a variety of relationships are created and maintained across different people, proximities and ProxSets. Different people relate to the bridge in different ways at different times, across a spectrum ranging from collaboration to competition to disagreement and conflict, since the importance of different elements depends on each person’s proximity or ProxSet.

Yet when there is disagreement and conflict, ProxPatterns can also provide some clues for viable alternatives. If a subcontractor hasn’t been paid, and there is a dispute about how much they are owed, the relevant proximities and/or ProxSets can be ungrouped to explore the facts, feelings, interpretations and misinterpretations. The parties can agree that some of the elements in each party’s ProxSets are likely valid, while some were possibly mistakes or misinterpretations due to a combination of the Limits PPs. For example, each party never knows all of the important elements in the other party’s proximity, and there are limits to what any one manager or worker can know or see. Once people have greater awareness and appreciation for the related elements, they can probably craft some reasonable solutions beginning with the Limits PPs and then using other ProxPatterns.

If one or both parties is unwilling to explore the relevant proximities and/or ProxSets, then the parties must accept at least one ProxPattern, which is that they will be limited to their one side of the story. However, various ProxPatterns offer ways to get it going again, often beginning with greater ProxAwareness or honoring integrity.