What is This Website All About?

Basically, everything I learned.

Hi, my name I Gusti Bagus Ananda Tsaqif Hasani. I am a lifelong learner of many different subjects. What you will find in this blog are the results of those learning. Though my main interest are programming and research, you will find many kind of posts in here. I will be posting articles, essays, summaries, reviews, etc. on all the subjects I learned. I hope I can give you a new insight from those posts, and maybe even spark some discussion! And lastly, I will be posting about my personal life as well. But I know those posts won’t be as interesting to many people, so I will be keeping it to a minimum.

Well anyway, I hope you will enjoy your stay here! Bye for now.

How to Create a Good Fictional Character

Introduction

In any story we read, there is always a character. Character are simply a living person (human or non-human) whose actions dictates the flow of the story. A great character however, have reasons between their actions. Otherwise, the story they told won’t be making any sense.

Character’s actions are shaped by their past events, their culture, people they know, and many more. All those things influence how a character turn out. What kind of things they’ll aspire and most importantly the kind of actions they will take to reach it.

In this blog post, I will explain what actually constitute a character “reason of actions”. Which from here, I will be calling “character components”. Let me explain what each of those components are.

Character Component

Backstory

Backstory are the series of events that has happened to the character before the starting point of a story. Their “past” if you will. What ever events that happened to them will no shape them to be what they are. Specifically, it will shape their motivation.

Motivation

Motivation is what drives a character. Their reason to live. Motivation consist of three things:

  1. Value
  2. Ambition
  3. Story Goals

I will explain all three aspect of character motivation each with an example to better your understanding.

Value

The first type of motivation is value. Value is what a character thinks to be “the most important thing”. It could be money, happiness, honesty, or power. It raises from their backstory. For example, a character that spend their childhood in poverty will be more likely to value money in their adulthood. Values is what a character always think to be the right thing without needing any explanation. A character that value honesty will strive to live in an honest way. And when questioned why they live that way, they will answer “because it’s obvious!”. Value in turn will drive ambition.

Ambition

The second type of motivation is ambition. Ambition is an abstract thing that a character want in life. It is something they wish to obtain or accomplish, but have no idea how. Ambition grow from character’s value and backstory. A character that grew up in an artistic environment might have an ambition to become and artist. And if that environment also teach him to value good morals, then his way to be reach his ambition won’t be less than scrupulous. Ambition are abstract. How a character try to reach them are by setting a more concrete goals. A story goals.

Story Goals

The last type of motivation is story goals. Story goals are what the character trying to accomplish in a beginning of a story that they think will help them reach their ambition.

A good story goals follow the same principle of goal-setting as real people. The SMART principle. Therefore, a character’s story goal must be: (1) specific, (2) measurable, (3) achivable, (4) relevant, and (5) time-bound.

Relationship Diagram of Character Components

Below is a relationship diagram to make the relationships of the character components more understandable.

Summary

A great story are filled with great characters who move the story with their actions. Those actions are not random. Their past shape their value and ambitions which in turn will shape the kind of actions they’ll take.

I hope this blog post are helping you creating a better character in your story. Goodbye for now.

Reference

Ingermanson, Randy & Economy, Peter. (2010). Writing Fiction for Dummies. Hoboken: Wiley Publishing, Inc.

Notasi Model Proses Bisnis

Di dalam sebuah organisasi, ada banyak pekerjaan yang harus dilakukan. Namun, ada beberapa pekerjaan yang dilakukan berulang-ulang. Pekerjaan berulang-ulang tersebut perlu didokumentasikan agar pelakunya yang berbeda-beda tetap melakukan pekerjaan dan hasil yang konsisten dengan pelaku sebelumnya. Salah satu cara mendokumentasikan pekerjaan berulang-ulang adalah dengan menyusun sebuah prosedur.

Prosedur pada umumnya digambarkan dalam bentuk naratif atau bentuk flowchart. Namun kedua cara tersebut memiliki kekurangan. Bentuk naratif tidak dapat merepresentasikan pihak-pihak berbeda dalam prosedur. Adapula bentuk flowchart memiliki terlalu banyak elemen sehingga prosedur yang sebenarnya simpel menjadi terlihat rumit. Solusi dari kedua masalah itu adalah penggambaran prosedur menggunakan Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) atau Notasi Model Proses Bisnis. Di artikel kali ini, saya akan membagikan pengetahuan saya tentang subjek Notasi Model Proses Bisnis!

Apa itu BPMN?

Jadi apa itu BPMN? Sama dengan flowchart, BPMN adalah kumpulan notasi yang berguna untuk memvisualisasikan sebuah prosedur yang dilakukan berulang-ulang. Berikut contoh dari BPMN:

Seperti terlihat di atas, BPMN jauh lebih simpel dan intuitif dibandingkan flowchart. Dalam BPMN, tidak ada komponen seperti dokumen atau input, dan juga dalam BPMN, dua pihak lebih jelas jenis interaksinya dengan menggunakan flow pesan.

Elemen BPMN

Sama dengan flowchart, BPMN juga memiliki berbagai elemen yang digunakan untuk menggambarkan prosedur.

Event

Elemen Event menggambarkan awal, pertengahan, dan akhir dari sebuah prosedur. Notasinya digambarkan di atas. Diagram BPMN hanya boleh memiliki satu event awal dan akhir, tetapi boleh memiliki banyak event pertengahan.

Aktivitas

Elemen Aktivitas menggambarkan aktivitas individu yang dilakukan di dalam sebuah prosedur. Dalam satu diagram BPMN ada banyak elemen aktivitas.

Flow

Elemen Flow merupakan garis yang menghubungkan berbagai elemen dalam diagram BPMN. Contohnya dari Event ke aktivitas, artifak ke aktivitas (penjelasan elemen artifak ada di bawah), ataupun aktivitas entitas A ke aktivitas entitas B dalam sebuah prosedur. Flow memiliki tiga jenis yaitu:

  1. Flow Urutan, digunakan untuk memberikan hubungan direksional antara element Event, Aktivitas, atau Gerbang yang menandakan urutan pelaksanaannya.
  2. Flow Pesan, digunakan untuk memberikan hubungan direksional antara Aktivitas dari entitas satu ke entitas lainnya yang menandakan penyampaian informasi antara entitas di aktivitas tertentu tersebut.
  3. Flow Hubungan, digunakan untuk memberikan hubungan non-direksional antara aktivitas dan anotasi atau aktivitas dan artifak yang menandakan informasi tambahan atau penggunaan artifak pada aktivitas tersebut.

Gerbang

Elemen Gerbang menggambarkan pemisahan alur kerja dalam diagram BPMN. Alur kerja tersebut dapat dipisahkan menjadi parallel ataupun ekslusif yang masing-masing digambarkan menggunakan elemen Gerbang yang sesuai. Pemisahan alur kerja secara ekslusif dilakukan saat satu aktivitas memiliki dua atau lebih pilihan aktivitas lanjutan yang dapat diambilnya. Dalam situasi itu, elemen Gerbang Eksklusif digunakan dengan cara menyatakan syarat pemilihan aktivitas lanjutan pada gerbang tersebut.

Lane

Elemen Lane terdiri dari dua: (1) lane dan (2) swimlane. Lane menggambarkan pihak-pihak berbeda yang melakukan activity dalam sudah prosedur.

Artifak & Database

Elemen Artifak dan Database adalah dua elemen yang digunakan sebagai pelengkap maupun alat bantu sebuah aktivitas. Elemen Artifak dapat berupa dokumen, catatan, ataupun alat bantu kegiatan lainnya. Sedangkan Elemen Database adalah jenis alat bantu khusus yang berupa sekumpulan data yang membantu terlaksanannya sebuah aktivitas.

Anotasi

Elemen Anotasi adalah elemen yang dihubungkan kepada aktivitas untuk memberi penjelasan yang lebih rinci tentang aktivitas tersebut.

Proses Pembuatan Prosedur

Setelah mengetahui elemen-elemen yang digunakan untuk menggambarkan prosedur dalam diagram BPMN, kamu perlu mengetahui proses penggambaran prosedurnya. Berikut langkah-langkah penggambaran prosedur menggunakan diagram BPMN.

  1. List setiap langkah dasar prosedur terlebih dahulu dalam bentuk list;
  2. Gambarkan langkah-langkah dasar tersebut menggunakan elemen BPMN Event Awal, Aktivitas, dan Event Akhir;
  3. Evaluasi tiap langkah dasar dalam list masukkan detail seperti syarat aktivitas, artifak yang diperlukan aktivitas, dan pihak-pihak yang melakukan aktivitas;
  4. Gambarkan detail tambahan tersebut ke dalam diagram BPMN yang sudah dibuat di langkah ke (2);
  5. Evaluasi tiap elemen dalam diagram BPMN.

Contoh-Contoh Penggunaan BPMN

Untuk memperjelas pengertian pembaca akan penggunaan BPMN, berikut beberapa contoh-contoh penggunaannya.

Prosedur Peminjaman Buku di Perpustakaan

Cara membaca diagram di atas adalah sebagai berikut:

  1. Perhatikan ada dua pihak yang ditunjukkan oleh Elemen Lane pada diagram di atas. Pihak tersebut adalah Peminjam Buku dan Pengurus Perpustakaan.
  2. Prosedur peminjaman buku di mulai dengan peminjam buku mengambil buku yang mereka ingin pinjam, kemudian menyerahkannya kepada pengurus perpustakaan.
  3. Setelah menerima buku tersebut, pengurus perpustakaan meminta kartu perpustakaan dari peminjam buku. Pengurus perpustakaan kemudian menentukan tanggal pengembalian dan memberi stempel peminjaman pada buku. Terakhir, pengurus memberikan buku yang ingin dipinjam kepada peminjam. Segala aktivitas dalam prosedur ini untuk pengurus perpustakaan telah berakhir.
  4. Peminjam buku menerima kembali buku yang ingin mereka pinjam. Aktivitas tersebut menandakan selesainya seluruh prosedur peminjaman buku di perpustakaan karena seluruh pihak telah mencapai Event Akhir.

Prosedur Pembelian Barang di Supermarket

Cara membaca diagram di atas adalah sebagai berikut:

  1. Perhatikan ada dua pihak yang ditunjukkan oleh Elemen Lane pada diagram di atas. Pihak tersebut adalah Pembeli dan Kasir.
  2. Prosedur pembelian barang dimulai dengan pembeli mengambil barang yang ingin mereka beli dan berjalan ke arah tempat kasir. Disini pembeli akan dihadapkan oleh keputusan. Jika kasir sedang sibuk dengan pembeli lain, maka pembeli perlu mengantri di belakang pembeli tersebut. Jika kasir tidak sibuk dengan pembeli lain, maka pembeli dapat langsung memberikan barang yang ingin dibeli kepada kasir.
  3. Kasir menerima barang yang ingin dibeli dan melakukan scan pada tiap barangnya. Setelah seluruh barang telah melewati scan, kasir memberitahukan total harga yang harus dibayar oleh pembeli.
  4. Pembeli memberikan uang kepada kasir. Menerima uang dari pembeli tersebut, disini kasir dihadapkan oleh keputusan. Jika uang yang diberikan oleh pembeli kurang dari harga total barang yang dibeli, maka kasir akan meminta pembeli untuk mencukupinya. Jika uang yang diberikan pembeli lebih dari harga total barang yang dibeli, maka kasir akan memberikan uang kembalian kepada pembeli. Dan terakhir jika uang yang diberikan oleh pembeli sesuai dengan harga total barang yang dibeli, maka kasir akan memberikan nota pembelian kepada pembeli. Aktivitas kasir dalam prosedur ini berakhir.
  5. Aktivitas terakhir pembeli adalah mengambil barang yang dibeli, uang kembalian (jika ada), dan nota pembelian dari kasir. Karena kedua pihak telah sampai pada Event Akhir, maka prosedur pembelian barang di supermarket telah selesai.

Kesimpulan

Business Process Modeling Notation digunakan untuk memvisualisasikan prosedur pada suatu organisasi. Penggunaan notasi ini mempermudah para anggota organisasi untuk mengikuti prosedur yang telah ditetapkan agar hasil kerja mereka tetap konsisten dengan standar kualitas yang ada. Dengan adanya artikel ini, pembaca diharapkan akan mendapatkan pengetahuan tentang BPMN.

Referensi

Object Management Group. (2011). Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN). Needham: Object Management Group.

Project Management: Work Breakdown Structure & Gantt Chart

In our life, we sometimes have to tackle some kind of work that requires multiple actions to accomplish it. A project. For most people, there will be very minimum or no planning involved in it. This lead to unnecessary stress. Without planning, the amount of work and the timing of the work are not clear. A common result of it would be waking up one day realizing that the deadline of the project are one day away and there are so many works still left!

It doesn’t have to be like that. All you need to do is to plan the project better. And planning a project is easy! While there is an entire 800-pages book called Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) that will teach you everything about managing a project, that book is also very complicated and boring. But don’t worry, you don’t need the boring part to see the results of applying Project Management in your life. You only need two learn two tools of Project Management: (1) Work Breakdown Structure & (2) Gantt Chart. In this post I’m going to share how to get started using them!

Project

Before we learn about Work Breakdown Structure and Gantt Chart, let us agree on the definition of “Project”. A project is group of works that are done within certain interval of time. An example of project would be renovating your home. It is a group of works (buying new furnitures, repainting walls, installing doors, etc) and done within certain interval of time (you probably set aside 1 to 3 months for this renovation). Now an example for work that is not a project is doing chores. You do a lot of works in a chore (dishwashing, vacuuming, cooking, etc) but it is not done within certain interval of time. You won’t set aside just three months to do chores everyday then not doing it anymore after those three months has passed. Your house would be mess! Therefore, it is not a project. Doing chores would be called an “operation”. A group of works that are done repeatedly without a known end time. Anyway, let’s get back to the topic!

Work Breakdown Structure & Gantt Chart

Now that we agreed what a “project” is and how they are different from “operation”, we can move on to learning about Work Breakdown Structure and Gantt Chart.

Work Breakdown Structure, also known as WBS, are the list of all the tasks needed to complete a project, grouped using certain category. Gantt Chart are the visualization of timing and relationship of all those tasks in WBS. Simple enough right? If you are using those two tools, working a project won’t be so stressful anymore! Now we are going dive deeper on both of those tools. Let me start with WBS first.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

This is how WBS looks like:

WBS of “Writing Essay” project

By just looking at it, you can see all the tasks that are needed to be done to complete the project. There are three level of task in WBS: (1) project, (2) main task and (3) sub task. In the WBS above, the project are “Writing Essay”. Remember that a project is just group of tasks. The main tasks are “Ideation”, “Drafting”, “Revision”, and “Submission. Its subtasks are “Brainstorm ideas”, “Create outline”, “Research”, etc.

Also notice the type of words used to write the main tasks and sub tasks. Main tasks are written using noun, while sub tasks are written using verbs.

Now how do we really create a WBS? Well we need to remember that WBS are just all the work needed to be done to complete a project. These are the steps to create a WBS:

  1. List all the relevant tasks to accomplish a project. I recommend using mind map or brainstorming to find out all those tasks. You can also look at the task list of a similar project as yours.
  2. Group those tasks by some logical category. You can group them based on component, phase, or anything else.
  3. Now you’ve got yourselves a WBS!

Now that you know whats in WBS and how to create it, it is time we learn about Gantt Chart!

Gantt Chart

This is a Gantt Chart of the same list of tasks from WBS above.

Gantt Chart of “Writing Essay” project

Remember that Gantt Chart are just the timing and relationships of project tasks visualized. First, I am going to explain how task’s timing are visualized.

You can see that on the right side of each tasks are a horizontal bar positioned in a different date column, signifying the date of which that tasks are done. The horizontal bar also have different width. That’s because the left side of the bar actually represent the task start date and the right side of the bar represent their end date. The total amount of date column each bar occupies signify the duration of that task. That’s all the timing of each task.

As for the relationship of the tasks, it is represented using those arrows that coming out from either the left or right side of one bar to left or right side of another bar. The relationship tell us which task that are dependent to which task. Those relationships are:

  • Finish-to-Start (FS): The most common relationship. Task A have to be finished before task B can be started. It is represented using an arrow coming from the right side of task A to the left side of task B. An example of this relationship are the “Research” task to “Write draft” task relationship on the image above. “Research” task have to be finished before “Write draft” task can be started.
  • Start-to-Start (SS): Task A and task B have to be started at the same time but both can be finished independently. It is represented using an arrow coming from the left side of task A to the left side of task B. An example of this relationship are the “Brainstorm ideas” task and “Create outline” task relationship on the image above. “Brainstorm ideas” and “Create outline” task are started at the same time.
  • Finish-to-Finish (FF): Task A and task B have to finished at the same time but both can be started independently. It is represented using an arrow coming the right side of task A to the right side of task B.
  • Start-to-Finish (SF): Task A have to be started before task B can be finished. It is represented using an arrow coming from left side of task A to the right side of task B.

And thats how Gantt Chart show timing and relationship of each task. Now how do we create one? Unfortunately project scheduling is a vast subject outside the scope of this post, but I am going to lay down the basics here.

The steps of creating Gantt Chart are:

  1. Pick from the WBS one task as the first task to be done and another task as the last task to be done in the project. Set the specific date and duration of for those tasks to be done.
  2. Set the type of relationship of the first task to the second task of the project. Repeat with the second task to the third task. Keep repeating this until you have to set the relationship type of second-to-last task to the last task of the project. After this step is done, you should have the relationships of all the task defined.
  3. Adjust the duration of each task. Pay attention that the second-to-last task does not exceed the date of the last task of the project. If they are, adjust the duration of second-to-last task or any task before it.
  4. Now you’ve got yourself a Gantt Chart!

And that’s it. Now you know how to apply both Work Breakdown Structure and Gantt Chart to your own project. No more stress from working a project!

Now, this post is only barely scratching the surface of the great discipline of Project Management. I also simplified some of the terms and concepts to make it more understanable to a beginner. If you want to learn more, you can read the Project Management Body of Knowledge linked above. It will change your perspective on work.

That’s all I have to share now. See you later!

Personal Budgeting Basics

Budgeting has been very relevant to my life lately. My freelance business are taking off great and I have more money than I ever have before. I certainly have not been spending it wisely. Learning budgeting are really changing that. Budgeting helped me control my expenses and set a clear financial goals to for me to reach each month. I can’t believe I just payed attention to it now. Anyway, I am going to share what I learnt in here.

Introduction

So first, what is a budget? a budget is a plan on your financial income and spending in a certain period of time (usually a month). It tells you what is your expected income and expenses. Having a budget will really help you manage your money. Knowing what income and expenses you expect will help you to adjust your work action and control your impulse buying, respectively.

Budget Component

Now that you know what budget is, next I am gonna explain what a budget should contain.

Net Income

Net Income is the total money you have coming in your pocket in a period of time after subtracting taxes.

Expenses

Expenses is total money you have coming out your pocket to pay for some needs or wants in a period of time.

Financial Goals

Financial goals are your targeted amount of money to reach in a period of time. This goals can be saving an amount of money, paying of debt, or even buying someone a special gift.

Creating a Monthly Budget in Six Steps

Now that you know what a budget is and what it is contain, we can finally start learning how to write one! In this six steps process, we will create a budget for one month ahead.

STEP ONE. Write down and categorize all of your financial transactions of the month before

Writing down and categorizing each of your transactions will help knowing the total of both your income and expenses in a period of time. By categorizing it, you can group similar transactions together. The benefit of doing those two things will be shown in step three and four. You can use mobile apps like Money Manager or Wallet to do it. Both are free and have feature to categorize transactions.

STEP TWO. Create financial goals

To create your financial goals, think about the things that you really want, but do not have the finance yet to realize it. Maybe you want to save to buy a piano or trying to pay a debt. Both of those can be your financial goals.

STEP THREE. Write down your total projected income

Projected income simply means the total amount of income you expect to get in the next month. If you did the step one of this budgetting process, it won’t be hard to do know your projected income. As you just need to look at the previous month transaction data. Example of this step:

  1. Salary – $1.000
  2. Business – $500
  3. Dividends – $100

STEP FOUR. Write down your projected expenses

Projected expenses are simply the amount of expenses you expect to pay for the next month. Again, this is easy to do if you have the previous month data from step one. Example of this step:

  1. Grocery – $200
  2. Rent – $400
  3. Entertainment – $150

Note that you need to make sure your projected expenses are less than your projected income. This is so that you have a leftover money not spend on expenses (called ‘difference’) that can go to your financial goals! Which is what the next step is.

STEP FIVE. Put your leftover money on your financial goals

For example, you have two financial goals: (1) saving $100 and (2) paying debt $200. If you have a total income of $1.000 and a total expenses of $700, then you will have $300 leftover money. You can put divide those $300 dollar into two of your financial goals. $100 for the first financial goal and $200 for the second financial goal.

STEP SIX. Review regularly

Now that you have your own one month budget, just like any kind of plan, you need to review it regularly. This is to make sure that your real income, expenses, and financial goals are still according to your budget. Your budget also act as a buying reference. If, for example, you saw a pretty necklace in a store one morning and tempted to buy it, you can check your budget to help you decide whether that purchase will be good or not.

Conclusion

Knowing how to create a budget will help you manage your money and help you be more in control of your life. I certainly feel that way after budgeting my finance! I hope you be as well! That will be all for now. See you later!

How to Use Color in Fashion

So I have been reading this book about fashion called “Dressing the Man” by Alan Flusser. According to this book, to have a great fashion, you only have to pay attention to two things: color and proportion. In this post, I am going to share what I learned about color.

In choosing color for your clothes, you first have to know the purpose of fashion. “To direct people’s eyes to your most important feature: your face.” The color of your clothes are one way to fulfill that goal. For choosing the color of your clothes, you must pay attention to two principle: (1) contrast and (2) repetition (for those with background in design will realize that those two are also two of the basic principles in design!). I will explain what each of those principles means.

Contrast

The first principle said that the contrast of your clothes color (shirt and jacket, shirt and pants, etc), need to match the contrast of your complexion and hair. Before we continue, let me explain what a contrasting color is. Most people will say that two color are contrasting each other when they are “different” enough to each other. I think those are unclear definition. A better explanation can be given with the help of color wheel.

That’s color wheel. So basically, two contrasting color are colors that are opposite in color wheel. Looking at the color wheel above, you can see that red contrast with green, yellow contrast with violet, etc. You can also have contrast that are not directly opposite in color wheel like red to blue-green, but the contrast won’t be as strong.

Now that you know what contrast is, we can continue with the first principle. In this first principle, there can only be two kind of complexion-hair contrast. Muted and high. So a light complexioned person with fair hair will have a muted contrast and light complexioned person with a dark hair is a high contrast. So if you have a high complexion-hair contrast, you have to wear a high contrast combination of clothes as well. This will accomplish the goal of directing people eyes toward your face.

Repetition

The second principle is repetition. This principle basically said that the color of certain feature on your face (eye color, complexion, lip color, etc.) must be repeated by something on your clothes. The image below demonstrate this principle very well. The blue color of the man’s tie repeat the blue color of his eyes. This again will direct people attention the face.

So that’s it for choosing color in fashion. Remember that the purpose of fashion is to direct people eyes to your face. Using color contrast and repetition well in your fashion is one way to achieve that.