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Table 1 Characteristics of clockware and swarm development strategies

From: Forced migrants involved in setting the agenda and designing research to reduce impacts of complex emergencies: combining Swarm with patient and public involvement

Clockware Swarm
Planned by following protocols Dynamic planning, in response to uncertain or changing environment
Linear planning Rarely linear, usually non-linear planning
Detailed and careful planning before start Early planning is rapid with just enough ideas to allow early testing
Ideas developed in detail before testing and then small modifications if problems arise Ideas tested early and discarded if not suitable; new ideas generated and tested. Process repeats until ideas sustain repeat testing and refinement without failure
Resources are distributed to tackle different parts of the problem separately Resources are concentrated together on each stage or part of the problem (like a swarm of bees)
Standard operating procedures and checklists used to generate ideas and specify methods Brainstorming what to do and how to do it
Fixed time table Open time table
Deep analysis Rapid analysis
Early failure is seen as obstacle Early failure is an opportunity
Assumes static, closed system Assumes open, unpredictable system
Problem to solve is viewed as finite Problem is viewed as infinite
Overall effort to control process Overall effort to find best responses
Process leads to consistent outcomes The process changes itself and the outcomes, so outcomes will be inconsistent
Failure may not be apparent until implementation Failure is sought at every stage
Feedback and testing focused on pilot testing and final evaluation Feedback and testing at all stages