Complexity is fascinating in poetry and art, but a headache in commercial terms.
A business, a health organisation or a government - is about things - widgets, bikes, medical conditions, roads. Each thing wandering through a series of tasks creating a trail - order sheet, shipping papers, production reports, call reports, reports... and of course a work order for each event.
Say a thing shall pass 23 tasks and events before it leaves the shop - that would create 23 sheets, reports or documents (data or paper) and 23 work orders. That's 46 snippets of information that in one way or the other would represent the thing, the real world thing.
"What things happens" is how we keep track of stuff.
Complex. Error prone. And heaven for all lovers of reconciliation as some info will be contained in more than one of the 46 sheets, reports or documents. If paper based in a folder, if IT based often spread all over the place in .doc files, .xls files and definitely within a couple of mail clients.
Cries ensues for systems and methods so that the stuff could be managed, stored, have revision, organised and found.
Hello SOX and other regulations. Hello middle-ware and collaboration applications. More creates more.
Now to something completely different:
"What happens to things" is how we should keep track of stuff.
Let the thing be the bearer of information, or rather when IT based, have a virtual data thing that is alone in representing the real world thing.
Let that thing bounce from task to task and be the work-order in itself (like a car on an assembly line), let it capture the changes to itself (if suddenly blue you know it's been painted) and who did it and when.
Then after 23 tasks and events you would end up with one - 1 - single data thing.
Less errors, reconciliation a thing of the past and need to manage, store, have revision, organise and find evaporates with one single item.
"What things happens" vs. "What happens to things"
Complex vs. simple.
46 vs. 1
Guess what tack thingamy is taking ;)