Thoughts of the Day 2021

01 Jan 2021 — If all you do is believe in yourself, you may never get anywhere. Success comes to those who take action whether they believe in themselves or not.

02 Jan 2021 — “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” — Buckminster Fuller

03 Jan 2021 — A strong enterprise is designed from the start with KPIs in mind because they let you know if the enterprise is operating correctly.

04 Jan 2021 — A lot of employees aren’t there because they love your business, they’re there to feed their family or pay off their student debts or any number of other things. However, there’s no harm in designing the business so that they come to love it.

05 Jan 2021 — If you want to turn up at nine and leave at five, architecture is probably not the job for you. At least, not if you want to be a good architect.

06 Jan 2021 — When you are working on an architecture, is it better to think like a process designer or a game designer?

07 Jan 2021 — Enterprise Architecture is a torch that can bring light into the darkest corners of business operations. 

08 Jan 2021 — If you put a bunch of subject matter experts into a room with a job that has to be done then and there, they will figure out how to do it. The big questions are, can your analysts capture how they did it, can you as an architect make it work at scale and what are the impacts on the rest of the business?

09 Jan 2021 — “Architects can’t force people to connect, it can only plan the crossing points, remove barriers and make the meeting places useful and attractive.” — Denise Scott

10 Jan 2021 — The difference between an expert on a subject and an intellectual is that experts can be held to account whereas intellectuals pay no price for being wrong. If there is no price to be paid for being wrong, would you trust an intellectual to build a bridge that is safe? If there is no price to be paid for being wrong, would you trust an intellectual to advise you on how to build a bridge that is safe? Trust people who can be held accountable. If a person does not pay a price for being wrong, their opinions are literally worthless.

11 Jan 2021 — Rapid iteration through versions of a process may only be useful when you are chasing an objective. Once the objective has been achieved, it is important to decide, should those rapid iterations continue? Will the consumers of the outputs from that process want constant change or will they want stability?

12 Jan 2021 — Cascades can be harnessed for good. It is possible for a change in one part of the business to cause a cascade of effects in other parts of the business. While you have to be careful to avoid negative cascades, a positive cascade is a beautiful thing.

13 Jan 2021 — The purpose of a business is to make a profit. The greatest changes for the better in people’s lives often comes from the products and services of companies that create the largest profit. Do you think that’s a coincidence?

14 Jan 2021 — A change cascade is when a change in one part of the business causes problems or improvements in other parts of the business a long way from where the change happened. It’s related to Impact Analysis. Suppose you change a process. That might cause a change in a related process which in turn causes a change in a more distant process with no direct connection to the original where the you made the change. If you want to deliberately cause a positive change cascade, you have to have a deep understanding of your impacts.

15 Jan 2021 — If you have designed a process that is dull and boring to perform, have you designed a process that could and should have been automated?

16 Jan 2021 — “I think of architecture as a piece of clothing to wrap around human beings.” — Toyo Ito

17 Jan 2021 — If the resources are a ship and its crew… And the competencies are the ability to maintain, sail and navigate the ship… Then the capabilities might be to take passengers and freight from port A to port B.

18 Jan 2021 — The people who do the hard work of getting your business to achieve an objective may not be the same as the people who consolidate that objective once it has been achieved. Once the consolidation has happened, it may be that a third set of people is responsible for running the business operations that follow. In an army, this can all happen in a matter of hours. In a business, this might unfold over years.

19 Jan 2021 — If there is one core concept in Digital Transformation, it is to look at every part of your business model and ask, “how do we cut out the middle man?”

20 Jan 2021 — Digitalisation and Digital Transformation are two different things but a lot of information out there confuses them. Digitalisation is about improving existing ways of working, e.g. find all of the paper-based parts of a process and replace them with an application. Digital Transformation is about changing the way of doing business, e.g. close all of your DVD rental stores and start an online streaming service.

21 Jan 2021 — Imagine someone could kill your business on a whim. No discussion, no court decision, no way of stopping it. I used to love AWS but that is the power it decided to exercise over one of its customers and now the precedent is set. It doesn’t matter if you think its decision was correct, what matters is that AWS has proven itself willing to kill your business on a whim with no discussion, no court decision and no way of you stopping it. You might say that you have no intention of breaking the AWS terms of service but what happens you if you are falsely accused? No discussion, no court decision, no way of stopping it. So what is your cloud exit strategy?

22 Jan 2021 — If you’ve ever worked with programmers, you’ve probably met one who lost sight of the problem domain after falling in love with the language domain. Instead of concentrating on the business needs, they’re off exploring some new part of their preferred programming language. The same can happen to architects. They can become so enthralled with the architecture domain that they forget its purpose is to improve the business. Always remember that architecture may be beautiful and can be used to express your creativity but it is just a tool.

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