Existing enterprise-architecture frameworks – particularly TOGAF – all have a blurry, ill-described box labelled ‘business architecture’, which you’re supposed to deal with before diving down into the low-level technology stuff, except that few people seem to bother. What I’m aiming to do is unpack that box and put everything into its proper perspective – i.e. that the IT side of enterprise-architecture forms a small and almost insignificant part of a much, much larger whole. And that there’s almost no point in tackling the IT-stuff until we do get a handle on that whole.
At the abstract level, I’m using the same structure as for the SEMPER-5 whole-of-organisation diagnostic: five dimensions (Purpose, People, Preparation, Process and Performance), cross-mapped to a matching set of views on effectiveness (Efficient, Reliable, Elegant, Appropriate, Integrated).
[was going to put a graphic in here, but can’t work out how to upload it 🙂 – will do so in a later post – apols]
So the idea is that the framework keeps looping back recursively and iteratively through itself, to build up a total picture of the enterprise, where it’s going, and what to do about it if you don’t like where it’s going.
At the concrete level – i.e. how we actually apply this stuff 🙂 – the book’s organised in 25 main chapters: one for each combination of dimensions and effectiveness-views. So, for example, the chapters “Architecture as a way of thinking” (Purpose > Effective) and “What’s the story?” (People > Effective), both touch on Shawn’s area of narrative-knowledge – a crucial aspect of organisational knowledge that doesn’t even rate a single mention in any of the IT-centric enterprise-architecture frameworks such as Zachman, FEAF and TOGAF.
For what it’s worth, here’s the full chapter-list (key: E=efficient [knowledge/preparation], R=reliable [process], A=appropriate [purpose], L=elegant [people], N=integrated [also outcomes/performance])
- Purpose [Direction]
- DA :: The aims of architecture
- DR :: The architecture of the everyday
- DN :: Architecture of the enterprise
- DE :: Architecture as a way of thinking
- DL :: Architecture is a feeling
- PL :: The architecture team
- PA :: Politics of purpose
- PR :: A problem of power
- PN :: The role of the generalist
- PE :: What’s the story
- Preparation [Knowledge]
- KE :: Dimensions of architecture
- KN :: An emphasis on effectiveness
- KA :: Architecture on purpose
- KL :: A question of responsibility
- KR :: The centrality of services
- Process [Tasks]
- TE :: Requirements for agility
- TN :: Managing services
- TR :: The practice of architecture
- TL :: The art of integration
- TA :: What’s the SCORE?
- Performance [Metrics]
- MR :: Real-time scoreboards
- ME :: Closing the loop
- ML :: People and performance
- MA :: Measuring maturity
- MN :: Monitoring integration
- (Wrap-up and appendices)
Each main chapter is split into a Principles section, which gives some background to the issues being addressed in the chapter; a Procedure section, about what to do, itself split recursively into subsections for Purpose, People, Preparation, Process and Performance (i.e. artefacts and outcomes); and then a brief Resources listing (in which, yes, Shawn, links to the Anecdote website occur several times! 🙂 ).
I’m aiming for an average of about five pages per chapter, so it should keep it to an all-up size of around 140-150 pages in standard 9x6in trade-paperback format.
Current status is that I’ve finished the first two sections (Purpose and People) and have detailed outlines for the rest, so I’m about half-way through the first draft. Drop me a line if you want to see work-so-far, otherwise Watch This Space?