This somewhat impenetrable acronym is one of the best things I’ve seen in enterprise architecture for a fair old while, ‘cos it means that someone is thinking wider than just IT boxes…
The ‘someone’ in this case is Nigel Green and Carl Bate at CapGemini, and the acronym stands for the following:
They use it as a checklist for a review-process that happens before the usual “let’s rush off and build an architecture solution”. As they put it, “ask ‘What?’ before ‘How?'” (with ‘What’ meaning more ‘what do we want to do?’ – in other words closer to a Zachman ‘Why’). The aim is to create a proper translation between business and IT – hence the title of their book, Lost In Translation [on Amazon.co.uk], which describes the checklist and how to use it in practice.
In essence, this is the Zachman columns ‘Why’ (Policies), ‘When’ (Events) and ‘What’ (Content), with their Values being the equivalent to my extra ‘row-Zero’ on Zachman. (I note, though, that they’re right to point out that Values permeates every layer, not just at the highest level: this suggests that it really is another dimension relative to the Zachman frame, and that my simplification of it to a ‘row-0’ may be just that bit too much of a convenience… hmm…)
The ‘-‘ before the ‘-T’ is there for a reason. (It’s not just that ‘trust’ doesn’t sit anywhere in the Zachman frame. Which it doesn’t – which could be a useful topic for another post?) The key issue in all of this ‘translation’ is trust – or, more to the point, the lack of it. And the aim is to create that trust. Because if the trust doesn’t exist, we don’t have a usable architecture. Or, eventually, an enterprise, for that matter. :wrygrin:
More details in the book, or on their website www.LIThandbook.com, which includes a free download of the introductory chapter. Perhaps still a bit too IT-centric for my taste, but hey, that’s where the big problems are, yes? 🙂
Had a really good conversation with Nigel Green on all of this last week, and look forward to hearing more.
All in all, very strongly recommended.