Architecture Thoughts of the day

Thoughts of the Day 2024

01 Jan 2024 — Start with the assumption your stakeholders are smart people who configured their department the best way they knew how.

02 Jan 2024 — The structure of any organisation was developed using the combined experience and expertise of hundreds of people. You may be smarter than some of them but you are not smarter than all of them combined. That is why Enterprise Architecture is teamwork with your stakeholders.

03 Jan 2024 — When you first build a complete model of your organisation, you’ll see a lot of things that don’t add up. Most of them will be a problem with your addition. Most but not all.

04 Jan 2024 — Shamanism is a big problem in business, EA and IT literature. In business, we often see it in the stories created by people who played no real part in the success. Except they thought they made a difference. So now they tell everyone how to wiggle their hips to make the lightning come.

05 Jan 2024 — How does duplication of effort happen in an organisation? Your stakeholders are focussed on getting their department working correctly not on how other departments work. The bigger the organisation, the more likely it is you’ll find large amounts of duplication.

06 Jan 2024 — “I realized that I loved using computers to create something, but being an architect just wasn’t going to keep me interested. The idea of a life spent obsessing over bathroom details for an Upper East Side penthouse was pretty depressing.” — Joseph Kosinski

07 Jan 2024 — Most people are very attuned to fairness. This can cause some major problems during Change where employees might see things they think are unfair. It is part of your job as an architect to communicate why the decision was made. It’s also part of your job to listen. Maybe it was unfair.

08 Jan 2024 — Duplication of effort might be something you deliberately choose to avoid fixing or even to willingly implement. For instance, merging two teams because they both do the same thing might lead to the creation of a new bureaucratic monster. Or an old team might have been deliberately split in two to slay a monster.

09 Jan 2024 — Your stakeholders are smart people who configured their department the best way they knew how… so how did things end up in such a mess? Because that is the inherent nature of human endeavours. 

10 Jan 2024 — The most commonly overlooked variable is time. Despite it often being the most important. 

11 Jan 2024 — How fast should you fix duplication of effort? The faster you fix it, the more likely you’ll have to let people go. That is bad for morale. Work steadily towards it and find new roles those employees if you want morale to stay high.

12 Jan 2024 — Loyalty is one of the most important things you can cultivate in your team and in the wider employee base. 

13 Jan 2024 — “You get what you measure.” — Scott Adams

14 Jan 2024 — Despite what many will tell you, there is no One True Way of Enterprise Architecture. However, there is one true Enterprise Architecture — the architecture of the enterprise. Not just some corner of it, no matter how much you know and like about that corner. All of it. The architecture of the whole thing. The way you choose to architect it is something else.

15 Jan 2024 — When you find duplication of effort in an organisation, don’t be too quick to suggest fixing it. There are a lot of times your business will want or need to duplicate effort.

16 Jan 2024 — Systems Thinking is useful in some specific domains – like actual systems – but is useless in some domains and actively detrimental in others. 

17 Jan 2024 — When most people involved in Business Change try to understand Capability, their first thought is usually it is something to do with what goes on inside a thing. But it’s not. It’s about what goes on outside the thing with the Capability. 

18 Jan 2024 — If your answer to a question is A and an expert says it’s not A, it’s B, it’s no use offering up variations of A in your attempt to learn. You need to learn B. So when an expert says Function and Capability are two different things, it’s no use to keep offering variations of Function.

19 Jan 2024 — Artificial grass looks like real grass from a distance but not when you look at it closely. It’s not even a plant. So far, artificial intelligence follows that same pattern.

20 Jan 2024 — “Dont give up. Obstacles can be overcome through strategy and learning.” — Hidetaka Miyazaki

21 Jan 2024 — Design Thinking in architecture can only take you so far. Effectively, it can only find answers to small problems. It’s great if you have one product in one market. It’s great if you have ten products in the same market. If you have one hundred products in ten different markets, Design Thinking is useless at senior levels. If you have a group of companies each with one hundred products in ten different markets, Design Thinking is probably below your awareness level.

22 Jan 2024 — When you orient your architecture towards people… towards your fellow employees… towards your customers… towards making them happier and more productive… everything about your architecture will come into focus.

23 Jan 2024 — Which is more important, customers or profit? You cannot keep your customers happy if you don’t make a profit. Because sooner or later you’d go bust.

24 Jan 2024 — Next time you go to a different area of your organisation, stop and look at the employees around you. Every single one of them has concerns and interests at work. And bills to pay at home. They are not a system, they are people. They have relationships at work. Some of those relationships are called teams. Design your architecture accordingly.

25 Jan 2024 — Don’t get too hung up on words like Function or Process or Activity. It’s the concept behind them that’s important. What one firm calls Procedures, another firm calls Work Instruction. When you move jobs, the words will change but the concepts will remain the same.

26 Jan 2024 — One of the bigger problems with the Business Architecture Guild getting involved in TOGAF is BAG seemed to think what they call Business Architecture and what TOG calls Business Architecture are the same thing. And now they seem to be working on that assumption. Which is just going to mean TOGAF stays irrelevant for another decade.

27 Jan 2024 — “It was the drawing that led me to architecture, the search for light and astonishing forms.” — Oscar Niemeyer

28 Jan 2024 — Every architect should learn Erlang. It teaches more about how good architecture works than any other programming language. Even if you only do it as a hobby and for fun, it changes your understanding of how architecture can and should be done for everything to work well.

29 Jan 2024 — One of the more ironic things in business is IT Security professionals claiming to be GRC experts. It’s ironic in two ways. First, it’s a form of identity theft because they’re pretending to be something they’re not. Second, it means they aren’t even professional enough to read the GRC Wikipedia page to realise it:

30 Jan 2024 — Q. What is the main Capability of an aircraft? A. It can fly.

31 Jan 2024 — It’s no coincidence when Elon Musk fired 80% of Twitter’s staff, internal productivity went up. 

01 Feb 2024 — The best way to make a good profit is to offer your customers high value. They won’t care if you make more money than your competitors if your products also deliver more value. This can be woven into your architecture.

02 Feb 2024 — You know what an Enterprise Architecture metamodel looks like but what does a Business Architecture metamodel look like? They vary hugely from business to business. Below is a figure from the book Playing To Win and it would be a reasonable starting point for a Business Architecture metamodel.

03 Feb 2024 — “I love building spaces: architecture, furniture, all of it, probably more than fashion. The development procedure is more tactile. It’s about space and form and it’s something you can share with other people.” — Donna Karan

04 Feb 2024 — Back in the mid 90s, Function was essentially replaced as a concept because it had a detrimental effect on organisations. It led to silos, bureaucracy and middle-management bloat. The word stayed on because everyone knows what it means but it should now only be used to describe a particular View of the business: who does what?

05 Feb 2024 — It takes decades to learn to make good decisions in architecture. You often have to make several bad decisions before you get there. Surround yourself with good people to catch the bad decisions. Do the same for them.

06 Feb 2024 — There is little in Enterprise Architecture that causes more confusion than the English language. Almost every word has multiple meanings. Terrible for precision, lovely for poetry.

07 Feb 2024 — The more your organisation spends on IT middle management, the more likely it is your organisation doesn’t understand IT.

08 Feb 2024 — The main reason you should avoid BAG and TOG’s documentation about Capability is neither of them are about Capability. They reinvented Function and mislabelled it. Organisation Design experts stopped using Function in the 90s because it is actively detrimental to the design of the organisation.

09 Feb 2024 — Use singular concepts in your design work. Singular concepts are things like Process, Org. Unit and Application. Compound concepts like Function have unintended side effects and should only be used to explain the design.

10 Feb 2024 — “I believe that architecture, as anything else in life, is evolutionary. Ideas evolve; they don’t come from outer space and crash into the drawing board.” — Bjarke Ingels

11 Feb 2024 — Blag (verb – UK – informal/slang) — to persuade someone in a clever or slightly dishonest way to allow you to do something or to give you something, e.g. somehow he managed to blag the job.
Businesses are full of blaggers… smart people who use guile to get what they want or hide what they’re doing. And they assume everyone else is doing it. A lot of them read the literature, don’t understand it but then use its buzzwords to carry on blagging.

12 Feb 2024 — If you don’t understand the business architecture or process architecture of your organisation, your IT architecture will be ludicrously more complex than it needs to be.

13 Feb 2024 — Every stakeholder is different. It means every stakeholder has a different reason to look at your architecture. There is often commonality which allows you to build standard Views which will satisfy several stakeholders at once. But it won’t always work because every stakeholder is different.

14 Feb 2024 — When hiring new architects for your team, it’s important to remember existing skills are good but ability to learn new skills is far more important. An architect who learns fast can often find answers fast too.

15 Feb 2024 — If you ask people who don’t understand the term Capability, what does a car do? They will open the doors and examine the engine and check if the seat can be adjusted. If you ask people who understand Capability, they’ll get in and drive somewhere they want to go. If you ask them, what does a company do?…

16 Feb 2024 — Architecture is one of the best professions because not only is it full of wonderful challenges but it is full of wonderful architects. Even bad architects are usually nice people with good intentions. 

17 Feb 2024 — “With a painter or a sculptor, one cannot begin to alter his works, but an architect has to put up with anything, because he makes utility objects — the building is there to be used, and times change.” — Arne Jacobsen

18 Feb 2024 — Remember, you’re a smart and capable architect. Even if you make an architectural mistake, it will probably still be better than what you had before and it will be replaced in a few years. Sometimes mistakes are worth keeping around just to remind you that you’re human. Especially if you’re the only one who will ever really know.

19 Feb 2024 — Every stakeholder is different. Some stakeholders need hardly any detail in the architecture. Others with exactly the same job title cannot work unless every detail is in there. 

20 Feb 2024 — Enterprise Architecture is not Enterprise IT Architecture. When you understand Enterprise Architecture, you discover Enterprise IT Architecture isn’t even a thing. There is no over all architecture to the IT systems in an enterprise.

21 Feb 2024 — Competence is the ability to execute. In other words, the skill to do something well. A person can have several competencies. So can an organisation.

22 Feb 2024 — There are highly skilled people with Imposter Syndrome. They look around them and assume everyone else is far more competent. There are also low skilled people who are actual imposters. They look around them and assume everyone else is faking it. 

23 Feb 2024 — Every stakeholder is different. Some stakeholders are happy with a glance at a complex View. Others with exactly the same job title will panic if you aren’t there to explain extremely simple Views.

24 Feb 2024 — “If the design is taking too long, the design is wrong.” — Elon Musk

25 Feb 2024 — After years of design and architecture of huge multi-user systems for enterprises, the idea of Enterprise Architecture was a puzzle. How was it any different? IT people kept telling me it was about architecting IT systems for the enterprise. Been there, done that, got entire wardrobe full of the t-shirts. Should be easy. But no, they were wrong. Just IT Solution Architects who wanted a grander sounding job title and didn’t understand the EA literature. Or had only seen dodgy EA literature written by other IT people. Enterprise Architecture is not about architecting IT systems or even about IT, it’s about the architecture of the enterprise.

26 Feb 2024 — The worst thing about Enterprise Architecture is you get to see how many employees do useless or even detrimental things. The most beautiful thing about EA is you can turn that around and make those employees useful and productive.

27 Feb 2024 — When IT people try to make Enterprise Architecture fit their understanding of the world, all it does is create ivory towers and bureaucracy in the IT department because EA is not EITA.

28 Feb 2024 — When you have multiple Solution Architectures in the works, you need someone to coordinate them. You also need someone to look to the future for proposed and possible Solution Architectures. That person is NOT an Enterprise Architect. That person is a Senior Solution Architect.

29 Feb 2024 — If you want to get to the top of the game in IT, you should probably avoid Enterprise Architecture. EA is not about IT, it’s about the enterprise. 

01 Mar 2024 — Every stakeholder is different. Some stakeholders like to see a graphic or a graph. Others with exactly the same job title cannot understand anything unless it’s in a written report.

02 Mar 2024 — “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” — Heraclitus

03 Mar 2024 — There are some situations where you don’t have enough information to make a good decision. Or you have all the information but don’t have the skill to make sense of it. Yet you still have to make a decision. Sometimes you have to say, hang it. Get on, make the decision and accept the consequences. In architecture, some of those consequences can last for years so practice your charm. 

04 Mar 2024 — What is the difference between a Business Analyst and a Business Architect? It would be easier to state the one similarity: they have the word Business in the title. That’s it. There is no significant career path from the first to the second. One is a not even a management role and the other is an executive role — director-level or just below.

05 Mar 2024 — Enterprise Architecture has a set of tools you can use to architect an enterprise. Architect an enterprise in a similar way to architecting a building. Because all enterprises have an architecture but an enterprise with a deliberate architecture can achieve far greater things.

06 Mar 2024 — To be an Enterprise Architect, you have to be a people person. Two thirds of the role involves spending a lot of time with your stakeholders.

07 Mar 2024 — When your Strategy team is looking out to the markets to find opportunities and gaps, the mindset needed is the opposite of Analysis. That can mean you have to be careful about who works with the Strategy team.

08 Mar 2024 — Every stakeholder is different. A significant part of your job as an architect is to get to know them and what they need.

09 Mar 2024 — “Make the best use of what’s in your power and take the rest as it happens.” — Epictetus

10 Mar 2024 — An enterprise is not a computer program. It is not a system. If you remove essential lines of code from a computer program, it will crash. If you remove essential components from a system, it will stop working. An enterprise is not like those. If you have an essential component break, everything must carry on. If an essential employee leaves because they won the lottery, everything must carry on.

11 Mar 2024 — There are a thousand reasons why Enterprise Architecture should not be under the CIO. Under the CIO, the natural inclination will be to recruit and promote from within that office which means it will steadily turn into a IT architecture team.

12 Mar 2024 — Enterprise Architecture appears dangerous to non-essential or unproductive middle management. They instinctively understand it puts their gravy train under threat. And it really does. The correct approach is always to shift unproductive people into productive positions. Very few middle managers will oppose being made essential or more productive.

13 Mar 2024 — There is only one direct jump from Solution Architect to Enterprise Architect. They’re two different professions. To get there, a Solution Architect needs to be trained in and become a Process Architect. That role is heavily business-focussed and takes as much effort to learn as Solution Architecture. Once learned, the prospective EA must then become good enough at it to be put in charge of it.

14 Mar 2024 — People get confused because you can draw a diagram with multiple applications and how they communicate together for a purpose. Just because you can arrange notional things on a diagram to make it look pretty doesn’t make it architecture. Those are a compound View of multiple architectures and their communications.

15 Mar 2024 — Practice speaking with simple language. Like you’re explaining Enterprise Architecture to your children or parents… or to your stakeholders.

16 Mar 2024 — Economy denotes the proper management of materials and of site, as well as a thrifty balancing of cost and common sense in the construction of works. This will be observed if, in the first place, the architect does not demand things which cannot be found or make ready without great expense. — Vitruvius, The Ten Books on Architecture

17 Mar 2024 — One of the problems with an MBA is you end up with everyone following the same patterns. When someone mid-level breaks those patterns, everyone seems to think that person is broken. Yet the greater the number of years you are from university, the more you realise the patterns you were taught were what they thought you could learn not what actually works. The patterns are designed to get you in to management. Look at the most successful business leaders and they rarely follow the patterns, they think hard and create new patterns.

18 Mar 2024 — There are a thousand reasons why Enterprise Architecture should not be under the CIO. There it is at high risk of being used as a promotion path for IT people who do not understand EA and misinterpret it as EITA. Which is usually the death of EA and the birth of a useless IT bureaucracy.

19 Mar 2024 — There can be a huge difference between knowing what your job title means in your organisation versus what it means to the rest of the world versus what it means to someone who genuinely understands the subject from first principles. This is doubly true in architecture.

20 Mar 2024 — Enterprise Architecture the subject is not difficult, it’s just big — there’s a lot of it. But an Enterprise Architecture — the thing you architect — can be incredibly complicated. And also big.

21 Mar 2024 — Enterprise Architecture is not like most subjects. It has a core set of rules and patterns. Once you learn them, you can extrapolate from them into almost any related area. It is like chemistry. You can know what will happen when certain elements or molecules are put together even if you have never seen them before.

22 Mar 2024 — Enterprise Architecture only works if you understand business. Not understand business from an IT perspective but understand business from a business perspective.

23 Mar 2024 — “The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.” — Frank Lloyd Wright

24 Mar 2024 — A sticking point for many architects is they learned the TOGAF or BIZBoK version of Capability then realise it’s both fake and useless. But when they try to learn the real thing, it’s opaque to them. This might be because they try to relate it back to the fake version. But the two concepts are almost entirely different. To learn the real thing, you should be looking to papers by David Teece — generally recognised as the world’s foremost expert on the subject.

25 Mar 2024 — There are a thousand reasons why Enterprise Architecture should not be under the CIO. That office exists to solve problems using IT and EA is not about IT.

26 Mar 2024 — If your only contact with Enterprise Architecture is TOGAF, you will have no idea how badly it has led you astray. 

27 Mar 2024 — Most of the hierarchies in Enterprise Architecture are abstractions or groupings in the same way as the org chart has teams, departments and so on.

28 Mar 2024 — If you work in IT and want to become an Enterprise Architect, you need to recognise an important fact: the employees in your organisation are not there to operate IT systems, the IT systems are there to enable the employees. 

29 Mar 2024 — It can be argued Alignment is no longer a valid concept in Enterprise Architecture. The nature of EA means everything is aligned by default.

30 Mar 2024 — “Architecture arouses sentiments in man. The architect’s task therefore, is to make those sentiments more precise.” — Adolf Loos

31 Mar 2024 — It’s easy to think the Internet has been with us long enough for the whole world to merge business concepts. Unfortunately, it’s not true. Cultural heritage and the experience of those who started their career before the Internet makes a huge difference. In Britain, US literature was rare before the late 90s. That means many business concepts are considerably different. The same is true for much of Europe where they often developed their own business concepts too. Because of its economic dominance, it can be easy to think the US is the best at everything business. But Europe far surpassed the US in Enterprise Architecture before the Internet really took off.

01 Apr 2024 — There are a thousand reasons why Enterprise Architecture should not be under the CIO. The CIO is accountable for the correct operation of IT within the organisation which means that would be the main pressure on the EA team. Which is the death of EA because its focus needs to be on the enterprise.

02 Apr 2024 — The people who practice Enterprise IT Architecture do hard work. But does any of that hard work deliver more than a small marginal improvement to the IT Systems Architecture? Does any of that hard work create a better outcome than the IT practices that came before?

03 Apr 2024 — If you want to understand how people can become obsessed with IT once they get good at it… to the point they cannot see anything except IT… consider the fact most IT architects look the TOGAF metamodel and think it’s about IT.

04 Apr 2024 — The thicker the layer of buzzwords, the more likely the speaker is mouthing shamanistic incantations rather than trying to impart anything of use.

05 Apr 2024 — Business Architecture is not some grandiose name for Business Analysis, it is the architecture of the organisation’s business model. It is the other side of the coin from Enterprise Architecture which is the architecture of the operating model.

06 Apr 2024 — “An architect ought to be an educated man so as to leave a more lasting remembrance in his treatises. Secondly, he must have a knowledge of drawing so that he can readily make sketches to show the appearance of the work which he proposes.” — Vitruvius, The Ten Books on Architecture

07 Apr 2024 — If senior management plans to make changes to part of the organisation, how do they know those changes won’t hose some other part? Or turn out to already be done somewhere else in the organisation? Or use a standard another part of the organisation just dropped because it didn’t work? Or need expensive new IT when a small change to their plans would mean they can use existing IT? They can ask down the management hierarchy but will the responses match the questions or will they just paint the picture middle management wants them to see? The answer is senior management don’t know unless there is an Enterprise Architecture model in place.

08 Apr 2024 — There are a thousand reasons why Enterprise Architecture should not be under the CIO. The EA team has to be credible at improving the business not just improving its IT — there are already fantastic people in the IT department who can improve its IT.

09 Apr 2024 — A lot of organisations which claim to be using Enterprise Architecture are really just stuck in the 1990s.

10 Apr 2024 — The inherent flaws of EITA can be seen in the expensive failures to make EITA frameworks like FEAF and MoDAF work.

11 Apr 2024 — There is a trait in British people where they can be comfortable with massive contradictions in the theories as long as the outcome works. “Muddle through”, as it’s known. This can be very useful in architecture.

12 Apr 2024 — As you get closer to the top it gets more and more important give an honest appraisal of the talents of those around you. One way to do this is to ask, what will get me a bigger pay rise, if you get put in charge or if you help your nearest competitor to be put in charge? Because if they’re more talented than you and you’re honest about it, the business will do better if you help them get there. And if you help them, they’ll want you alongside them. So which gets you the bigger pay rise in the long run?

13 Apr 2024 — “Architecture is the reaching out for the truth.” — Louis Kahn

14 Apr 2024 — There are a lot of things you will only understand about Enterprise Architecture once you have a complete model of the organisation. For instance, in a large organisation, you can barely scratch the surface of the connections between two departments without the model. You would have to spend months and talk to almost every employee in both. With a model, you can do a single query and you know in seconds.

15 Apr 2024 — There are a thousand reasons why Enterprise Architecture should not be under the CIO. When IT people try to understand EA, they only understand the IT parts. The result is a large, expensive bureaucracy that does little to help the organisation but an awful lot to slow things to a crawl.

16 Apr 2024 — The firms that use AI to shrink their workforce will lose business to the firms that use AI to empower and grow their workforce.

17 Apr 2024 — It’s common to overthink Enterprise Architecture as a subject but the whole thing is much more effective if you keep it simple enough for your stakeholders to understand.

18 Apr 2024 —

19 Apr 2024 — Enterprise Architecture started out as an evolution — effectively it was EITA. It didn’t stay there. A set of top-level business consultants and IT experts in France and Germany pushed it further. By 1997 they created actual Enterprise Architecture — a way to describe the structure of the enterprise itself not just its IT. In doing so they made EITA obsolete.

20 Apr 2024 — “As for philosophy, it makes an architect high-minded and not self-assuming, but rather renders him courteous, just, and honest without avariciousness. This is very important, for no work can be rightly done without honesty and incorruptibility. Let him not be grasping nor have his mind preoccupied with the idea of receiving perquisites, but let him with dignity keep up his position by cherishing a good reputation.” — Vitruvius, The Ten Books on Architecture

21 Apr 2024 — The more senior you get, the more you get to realise there are no hard lines for expertise. In theory, the Business Architect is an expert on the business model while an Enterprise Architect is an expert on the operating model. But the Business Architect might well defer to the Enterprise Architect on some business model decisions and the Enterprise Architect is very likely to defer to the Business Architect on some operating model decisions. Why? Because sometimes they understand the situation better and the only sane way to work is to defer to the people with the expertise for a specific decision. This applies in all architecture.

22 Apr 2024 — If you work in IT and want to become an Enterprise Architect, you effectively have to leave the IT way of thinking behind. You need to visit as many parts of your organisation as possible and see the people who make your organisation work. Get an idea of what makes your organisation tick. Hint: it’s not the IT.

23 Apr 2024 — Enterprise Architecture is fundamentally about the design of business operations. Only about a quarter of the subject is related to IT. Any team that tries to do just the IT parts will likely end up creating a useless bureaucracy that only slows things down and wastes expensive talent when they could do something productive instead.

24 Apr 2024 — AI means a small team can do things only a big team could do before. But it also means a big team can do things no one could do before.

25 Apr 2024 — TOGAF doesn’t show you how the phases of its ADM align with its metamodel so here’s some perspective on how small a part IT plays in Enterprise Architecture…

26 Apr 2024 — When you learn how to architect all of the routine operations within a business… when you learn how its entire architecture comes together… the need for old-fashioned EITA simply disappears. Because all of the complexity EITA was developed to solve is resolved in the business domain before it gets to the IT domains.

27 Apr 2024 — “Just be yourself… Worst advice ever. There’s no advice worse than, ‘just be yourself’. Here’s better advice: try to be a better version of yourself. Try to be better than yourself. Now that’s good advice. Try to continuously improve. Try to not accept where you are as good enough.” — Scott Adams

28 Apr 2024 — If an Enterprise Architect understands the big picture as the c-suite sees it and understands the detail as the most junior employees see it, does that mean an EA is the next CEO? Maybe but probably not. The person who can design a factory is not necessarily the best person to run it… just like they’re not necessarily the best person to be in charge of the Sales team or to persuade investors. But still maybe.

29 Apr 2024 — Can or will TOGAF ever be fixed? Probably not. It would take a dictator who understands every part of architecture to do it and that is antithetical to how TOGAF is maintained.

30 Apr 2024 — Always start with the assumption your organisation is operating correctly. Especially if it’s only theory that says otherwise. Because any theory needs to get past the fact your organisation is operating correctly enough to pay you at the end of the month. And maybe if you follow the theory instead, that ability will be gone.

01 May 2024 — The plans drawn up by an architect are temporary so don’t get too attached to them. The eventual implementation is what is important.

02 May 2024 — One of the most important things for an Enterprise Architecture team to achieve is to connect the top and bottom of the organisation. That is done using the Process Architecture.

03 May 2024 — If your Enterprise Architecture team has an underlying philosophy, its central tenet should be to make as many employees as possible productive.

04 May 2024 — “At our MIT lab, there are people from diverse backgrounds like architecture, psychology, and philosophy, giving a holistic touch to the creation of any technology we may have in mind.” — Pranav Mistry

05 May 2024 — In an organisation of ten thousand employees, you cannot know what all of them do. When a change is first proposed, you should perform a search of the Enterprise Architecture model to find out if there is anyone already doing it or something close. Very often there will be though sometimes you won’t know enough about the subject to find them. Yet you must try because you might save a fortune simply by doing a diligent search.

06 May 2024 — Be wary of consulting firms. Their job is not to tell you things that help you, their job is to tell you things that make you want to give them money. Sometimes those coincide and you both win but, if you had to call in a consulting firm, do you know when it’s mutually advantageous or are you just taking their word for it?

07 May 2024 — TOGAF is effectively pure shamanism. It’s not designed to help you understand or practice Enterprise Architecture, it’s designed to create a priestly class of bureaucrats within your IT department. That may or may not have been the conscious intent of the designers but that is what they designed.

08 May 2024 — Architecture must answer the questions, who are my stakeholders and what information do I need to produce for them so they can be sure to deliver the Vision?

09 May 2024 — The idea that the point of Enterprise Architecture is to deliver IT systems or manage information is obsolete and has been for the entirety of this millennium. Yet most IT architects and IT departments desperately cling to that old idea like ancient alchemists whose occasional expensive successes are despite their efforts rather than because of them.

10 May 2024 — If you want to solve a complex problem, it’s important to solve it in the right place. If you solve it in the wrong place, you will often create more complexity elsewhere. If you solve it in the right place, everything else will become much less complex.

11 May 2024 — “Europe is regulating its businesses to stop them from being successful. Name a gigantic new European business in the last twenty years. Go! It’s a new successful European business. Like big. Like Google… Like Facebook… Tesla… Name it. I can’t think of one. I think Europe might be done.” — Scott Adams

12 May 2024 — Why not just let managers plan their departments how they want and let old-fashioned EITA continue? Because that way is expensive and prone to failure. If you architect the business operations, you solve almost all of the problems EITA exists to fix and you end up with a far more efficient business into the bargain.

13 May 2024 — Occasionally, you will come across an old part of the business doing old things in an old way using old equipment but still making a modest profit and with every sign that it will carry on doing that until doomsday. And you should leave it alone. Put your effort in to parts of the business that aren’t making a profit yet instead.

14 May 2024 — People who only want to deliver IT systems should avoid TOGAF. That’s not what it’s for and you would just spend a long time creating an expensive mess if you try to use it for that.

15 May 2024 — If you cannot explain your opinion back to first principles, you should be prepared to change it when presented with better information. Even if you can explain it back to first principles, you must be prepared to discover those principles have been superseded. This is true of every aspect of architecture.

16 May 2024 — Process Architecture is not about flowcharts. Those happen at lower levels. If you have never been trained in Process Architecture and never developed a Process Architecture in an EA tool, the probability you will ever understand TOGAF is close to zero.

17 May 2024 — Business Architecture is a senior management approach and normally the role should be performed by someone with credibility with the C-suite. That usually means someone from the junior exec.

18 May 2024 — “The map is not the territory” — Alfred Korzybski