State

The concept of state is one of the most nebulous we have to deal with.  The idea of a finite state machine is well known to information systems professionals, but in the business domain states are not quite so "finite".  At the same time, we need to express ideas that have to do with transient characteristics of resources, individuals, and organizations.  States can describe discrete, step-function changes, or values on a range of continuous values.

 
Figure 23

In comparison to the idea of situation, covered below, state is more limited in scope.  It is descriptive of relatively singular things (resources, organizations, and individuals.)  States of large numbers of things, when viewed in the aggregate, create situations.