I used to think it was a bad idea for the organisation to allow programs or projects to drive go-to-market RFP tenders to acquire high-cost strategic enterprise technology platform infrastructure. Reason being programs / projects often define limited, project-specific ‘requirements’ on the selection process, where there is inevitably a broader — enterprise-wide — range of business and technology requirements that should inform the acquisition.

Projects often fail to consider the comparative assessments independent market analyst firms publish. Gartner. Forrester. (Recognising that the word ‘independent’ may not always be entirely accurate.)

But now I think — what the hell.

These days…

“This is good enough.”

Forget Myers-Briggs. Here are five character defects good architects have:

  1. They’re lazy
  2. They have short attention spans
  3. They have poor memories
  4. They steal
  5. They cheat

A Good Architect is Lazy

Because they’re lazy, they hate doing repetitive work. They’re happy to spend extra time creating re-usable patterns, guidelines, and presentations, which they use to explain what they’re doing, and why they’re doing it. They love “re-use”, because that’s how they get out of the hard work of doing exactly the same thing over and over. Because they’re lazy, they tend to be good at delegation. Getting someone else to do their work for them. A…

We’re don’t have to dumb down our architecture knowledge assets — because we never dumbed them up in the first place.

If the Stakeholder Can’t Understand It, the Architect Doesn’t Understand It Either

We’re using the Archimate architecture content meta model and iconography, in a Very. Very. Very. Simple. Manner.

Specifically, we are not using the advanced, whack-o, fancy-schmantzy, rockety-sciencey, UML-y, Archimate relationship connectors:

  • Specialisation / Generalisation
  • Composition
  • Aggregation
  • Serves
  • Realisation

These relationships come from UML, and they are useful for technical, physical, project solution software and infrastructure design (but they rarely get used for that purpose).

Those advanced relationships make sense, and if you have any geek in you at all…

This article references Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year— a story worth checking out if you haven’t yet come across it.

Before I tell this story, I want to acknowledge the grief COVID has caused for so many people. It has been hell for many, and it’s not over yet. However, we’ve found a small bit of silver lining in the shit storm.

Here’s our story.

A lot of businesses have commented on social media about how COVID has forced them to innovate their business operating model to survive.

Denham Sadler’s story in InnovationAus.Com about the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission’s (ACIC) biometric identification project falls into the category of “funny if not so tragic”.

(And if you’re not getting the regular newsletters from InnovationAus.Com — you should sign up immediately.)

There are many questions this article raises for the casual observer.

But. In the context of “Business Benefits Realisation”, I just wanted to note the following one point from the above news story:

Justin Hendry published a great story in IT News today (Monday 26 March 2018), which I’m going to use to illustrate a point.

My point is about learning from failure, which is at the heart of all agile methods. It’s also about another concept, which is at the heart of design thinking:


Here’s the story headline:

That’s a great headline. But not for DHS.

In my recent TOGAF class in Sydney, we got involved — as we always do — in a discussion about how architecture teams can create a “common language”.

We also learn words from non-English languages…

During my TOGAF course in Sydney last week, I was reminded that many highly experienced senior professionals — who are responsible for programs, projects, and the design and delivery of high-value business technology solutions — are not familiar with the concept of industry architectures.

They don’t understand what they are. They cannot name a single industry architecture— even in their own industry. They don’t understand why they’re valuable, or how they’re used. Even enterprise architects often don’t seem to know — or care — about industry architectures.

I find this odd, because when you’re doing enterprise architecture, industry architectures can…

I’ve run a lot of TOGAF training courses over the years. Why do people attend TOGAF training? Because they want a better job. A lot of students have asked me for advice on:

“How do I get a job as an enterprise architect?”

This has caused me to become interested in what employers define in their job announcements as the “enterprise architect” role — and other roles that overlap with the enterprise architect role. Because these job announcements define “the real world”. This is what “the market” wants. Employers are implicitly shaping the role of enterprise architect.

Whoa. Think about…

A lot of us in the “business technology products and services” industry think of ourselves as “hard-nosed, can-do, delivery-focused professionals”.

Sometimes, we react negatively when we encounter a colleague who asserts that formal methodologies and frameworks have value in improving our work process and outcomes.

“Jeeze, Fred, that’s all ivory tower stuff — we use the ‘just do it’ methodology here. Get to work and stop banging on about viewpoints and meta models. No one cares about that nonsense.”

Unfortunately — sometimes — our condescension is justified. There are people in this world who are obsessed with methods and…

In the global market place, it is evident that “enterprise architecture” means nothing more than “reactive technical architecture for programs and projects”. Order taking. No business engagement.

Here’s a definition of “enterprise architecture” — taken from a recent online position announcement (“job ad”) posted by a company looking for an enterprise architect:

a definition of enterprise architecture

The following organisation is looking for an enterprise architect who can also manage all the infrastructure in the organisation:

Jon McLeod

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