download (soon) or INGRID96.EXE (6.0b1) (now)



last updated October 23, 1996

copyright dates from commercial contract with Dr. Patrick Slater in NZ, 1980.

"On Monday 8th June 1987, Look out for INGRID. This is a locally developed package that author Jim Legg describes as a THOUGHT PROCESSOR. The result of 30 man years of research and development effort, this decision support system is now becoming available on the humble PC. Previously it was developed with mainframes in mind, as it required all of 256K to run! So whether it's using selection criteria for decision making, choosing where to have your holidays, deciding what new career to take, or just plain crystal ball gazing, this will have something for you."

- IBM PC User Group News by Terry Bowden - - New Zealand -

1. Requires minimum 256K IBM or 100% compatible

2. A>INGRID (assumes CGA ) or

A>INGRID /b (selects black & white )


Making decisions is not an easy task. Most of the difficulty in decision taking is related to the complexity of the world we live in. Real decisions are rarely simple and no option we may choose is so obviously attractive that we can easily discard all the others. Instead, most of the time, each of the options we consider includes something desirable in it while, at the same time, it also has some undesirable aspects. The issue is how to think about a particular decision which will please us most, or at least, one that we do not regret having taken.

INGRID is a method designed to help you think about a decision problem you are facing now or you anticipate you may be facing in the future. It will help you clarify your problem during your interaction with it, and it will probably point you on your way towards a solution.

INGRID has no knowledge about the world of your problem apart from what you tell it; so, all the knowledge about the problem you want to consider with INGRID will have to be elicited from you.

This program is dedicated to the work of Dr. Patrick Slater, professor emeritus, St. George's teaching hospital, University of London. The mathematical foundation of Grid Technique was developed by Dr. Slater in the 1940s and 50s as a result of his dissatisfaction with the technique of Factor Analysis.

In 1964, the Medical Research Council awarded Dr. Slater a grant to continue the development of programs and provide a service for qualified psychiatrists and psychologists in the UK. In his later years further development of Grid Technique was carried on by Dr. Slater in the general clinical area of `conflict'.

Read TUTOR.HTM. This covers the actual operation of the program.


I am releasing INGRID in a pre re-write version through the unique concept of freeware. You are encouraged to copy it and give it away. Try it and `SEE WHAT YOU THINK.....' For those of you interested in exploring INGRID further I am making full development versions available freely on request. I will also post updates and a regular homepage showing interesting applications where INGRID has been used. You can call me or write with any problems you need fixing. I am interested in any customising work to interface INGRID to databases (particularly Custom Marketing, Racehorses, Sharemarket Research, Screenplays, Neural Networks, etc.). I have good facilities and can provide an interpretation service. If you develop standard or unusual applications that are not proprietary, please send them to me and I will link them in the regular URL.

New versions of INGRID under way include:-

1--Improved 3 dimensional Graphics to display 3 components on the screen at one time.

2--Zoom and Rotate to explore grids further.

3--Flexible transformations of objective data into graded assessments.

4--Specific interpretation text and methodologies.

Contact details for : M.J.(Jim) Legg



INGRID-When can it be used?

'INGRID' can be used to solve practically any complex decision making problem.

D E C I S I O N M A K I N G : -

In Management: To assess possible mergers in terms of potential outcome.

In Marketing: For evaluation of a range of marketing strategies in terms of the effects of each.

In Personnel: In deciding between a number of potential people for promotion in terms of their characteristics and qualities.

In Industrial Relations: To Evaluate the possible solutions to an industrial dispute in terms of the effects of each solution.

In Market Research: In assessing a range of products in terms of their characteristics.

In Investment Decisions: Evaluating a number of stocks and shares in terms of the factors affecting their value.

P L A N N I N G : -

Unlike the decision grid, PLANNING involves defining the problem:- Firstly, into a question that asks about a group of attributes that can be measured in terms of ANOTHER group. Secondly, you are then able to get a "WHAT IS IT" picture. Planning involves looking into the future and re-evaluating your attributes based on a series of "WHAT IF" questions.

Thirdly, you can re-analyse the grid after each "what if" re-evaluation and see whether the outcome is satisfactory. Piece by piece you can restructure a situation in a controlled manner.

A recent example of where I personally used INGRID in a planning role is as follows:

As a new Software Development Manager for a large computer company specialising in Vertical Market Packages, I had to assess the short term requirements for a computer program for automotive distributors. This program was undergoing a major rewrite and a tense situation existed with the user group.

In order to get a PROFILE of the situation I broke the computer program into 14 separately identifiable MODULES and then formulated a question.

"To what extent do these modules satisfy our customers needs?"

With this question in mind and using a five point scale, I interviewed the product manager responsible for the program and got the following grid from him. The constructs came directly from examining what was good or bad about the modules in respect of the above question.

The following is the actual grid1.txt data as fed into INGRID and the meanings of the attributes:-


GenLgr : General Ledger FinRep : Financial Reporting Debtor : Debtors Ledger Credtr : Creditors Ledger Payrol : Payroll BnkRec : Bank Reconciliation Parts : Spare Parts Inventory Invoic : Invoicing System Servic : Workshop Service Department Vehicl : Vehicle Sales & reconditioning RepGen : Report Generator Mrktng : Marketing & Client prospecting F&I : Finance & Insurance & Hire Purchase FxdAst : Fixed Asset Register


I/Face : How well do the modules Interface to the Business UsrFrn : User Friendliness Traing : Training Required TimSav : Time Saving over manual methods Audtrl : Sufficiency of an Audit trail Problm : Level of Problem backlog (bugs) ShtCom : Shortcomings in design UsrOpn : Users Opinions Featrs : Selling Features Compet : Competitiveness DevReq : Development required

This produced the following picture:-

Armed with a profile which clearly identified the problem areas and the reasons why as being in the lower left quadrant of the screen and the good aspects in the upper right quadrant of the screen. I set about "releasing" each problem module in turn and taking new *pictures*. In doing so I was writing a report on the steps to be taken.

*Releasing* each problem module involved making a statement about what would happen in the near future and then re-evaluating the constructs just for that element.

*Taking pictures* was done after each *release* to gauge the result of the *remedy*. If the result was encouraging (i.e. the element moved toward the good side of the screen) then I would write notes into my report and thus one by one each and every solvable problem area was accounted for. During the session, which should be noted took just under an hour, we were only able to address short term solutions for the four modules listed below and the "MARKETING" & "F&I" (Finance & Insurance) were referred to a user group committee for further specification.

grid1-4.txt Financial Reports Creditor Bank Reconcile Service
Time Saving 2 > 3
Problems 4 > 3 5 > 2
Short Comings 5 > 3 4 > 2
User's Opinions 2 > 4 3 > 4 4 > 1 1 > 4
Selling Features 1 > 4 2 > 3 2 > 4
Competitiveness 2 > 4 1 > 3
Development Reqd 4 > 3 2 > 1 4 > 2

It is interesting to note that two factors crossed the "significance" threshold, namely "Problm" and "I/face". The significance threshold is high if a "." is printed after the name. Although "Credtr" and "BnkRec" did not make radical moves on the screen they became insignificant to the major concerns still confronting the whole computer package.

Incidentally I proved my "profile" by getting the same grid filled in by two software support consultants. Their CONSENSUS analysis showed the same substance as the one above.

O V E R V I E W S : -

Following the successful use of INGRID in a planning role, I tried something that I had been thinking about for some years but could not try till now and that was to see what INGRID would make of an ENTITY DIAGRAM. An Entity Diagram is used in computer software design to show the relationships of different aspects of a system. What I did was to rate the same modules in the above problem by the degree to which they related to each other.

The grading scale went from 1 (meaning no relationship) to 5 (meaning total dependency) with 3 being some small degree of interaction. The following is the grid4.txt and the resulting "picture".

It should be noted that if the name of the elements is the same word as the name of the constructs then only the position of the elements is shown in the picture.

From this picture I was pleased to see that I could obtain an OVERVIEW that showed the workings of an Automotive Distributorship. You can see in the west the day to day servicing needs of the business, in the lower left are what I would refer to as the sharp end of the business and over to the right are all the accounting functions.

P R O D U C I N G M A P S : -

While exploring the idea of measuring one group of things by the same group of things. I came across an interesting example while on a plane trip. In the seat pocket was a holiday book of Australia. In it was a table showing all the airfares from one city to another throughout Australia. this table was a triangular table and all I had to do was duplicate the top right triangle into the lower left. The airfares were keyed in to the nearest $10 (because of field size constraints) as follows and the following grid1803.txt emerged.

T I M E L I N E S : -

The next grid11.txt deals with my desire to identify a suitable way in which INGRID can be marketed. It should be pointed out that I have no formal marketing experience and though a marketing expert may confer with me or not it was my "gut feel" which I wanted to express.


DiMail : Direct Mail NwsAD : Newspaper Media advertising D-Door : Door to door selling Seminr : Seminars MedaED : Media Editorial TestMK : Test Marketing TrdPub : Trade Publications Refrls : Referrals CompSH : Computer Shops ShareW : Shareware


PreWrk : Preliminary work required ElyGns : Early gains (Market penetration) LteGns : Late gains (Market penetration) Cost : Cost per deal ElyRsk : Early risk LteRsk : Late risk People : Need for people ElyGP$ : Early Profit LteGP$ : Late Profit BestIN : Best Introduction EsCntl : Ease of Control

This grid was extraordinary because I could not easily identify what it was saying. A bit of lateral thinking pointed me in the direction of seeing a clock. Because some of the constructs were "time" related and some of the elements suitable different "times" better than others, the "picture" wasn't saying which elements were good and which elements were bad, it was "sorting" the "time" lines into order.

My final interpretation was:

The "clock" starts at 6 O'clock with Media Editorial supporting the new marketing venture and proceeds in a clockwise direction laying out a step by step plan from Media Editorial to Test Marketing to Shareware to Referrals to Trade Publications to Door to door selling to Seminars to Computer Shops to Direct Mail to reach Media Advertising as being the approach needed for a mature market.

I have used this example to show that the interpretation of a grid changes with the type of grid ( View, Decision, Planning, Forecast, Intrapersonal, Mapping, Conflict, etc.). With experience you will find that the implied meanings in the constructs will point you in the best direction for a valid topographical interpretation.

Continuing the exploration of time based Grids, I came across the grid0507.txt data in the April issue of the New Zealand Accountants Journal. It deals with the changing makeup of investment portfolios of Life Insurance companies in NZ over the last four years. The data is expressed as percentages.

GovSec : Government securities LocSec : Local Authority securities Shares : Company Stocks and Shares Debent : Company Debentures and Notes O'seas : Overseas Loans and Investments Propty : Property Mortgs : Mortgages (source Reserve Bank, Dec. 1986)

Here we see a clock running (by implication) in an anti-clockwise direction. If no other factors are present it is not difficult to predict were 1987 will come. Caution: I have seen these time lines "fold" back on themselves. A three dimensional picture with hidden lines sometimes shows a wavy third dimension.

C O N S E N S U S / D I F F E R E N C E A N A L Y S I S

The subject of the TUTORIAL, namely my daughter Sally's attitude to her school subjects, I am now going to review using CONSENSUS/DIFFERENCE analysis. I got a update SIX MONTHS after the first grid was done. The next picture is repeated from the tutorial and shows her attitudes then:

The next grid22-6.txt was her attitudes five months later. There are differences in the content namely FRENCH is new and DRAMA and COOKING are out. Later these subjects are "deleted" from each grid in order to use CONSENSUS and DIFFERENCE.

With the change in school year came a major change in the environment. The only teachers to teach the same subjects were in PHYSED and SCIENCE. Teachers from last year but teaching different subjects this year are in SOCIAL/MUSIC; ENGLISH/FRENCH.

The grid22-d.txt DIFFERENCE ANALYSIS shows the extreme elements to be those which have changed by the greatest amount.

HEALTH changed for BAD reasons ART changed for BAD reasons RELIGION changed for GOOD reasons MUSIC changed for GOOD reasons . . .

The CONSENSUS grid22-c.txt shows the degree to which there is consistency of the same attitudes being present over, in this case, a period of time. What we do notice is the fact that INGRID has "flipped" the screen. as stated before this does not lead to a different interpretation, it is simply a measure of the weight distribution between TOP & BOTTOM; and LEFT & RIGHT.

Please read the tutorial for a background to the above problem. I look forward to hearing from you.

Contact M.J.(Jim) LEGG