Intimations of hubris

One of the more interesting occupational hazards for the enterprise-architecture profession is a tendency to hubris…

A couple of days ago I wrote a brief piece about Microsoft EA’s purported ‘breakthrough’ in ‘discovering’ business-oriented architecture. In it I made a somewhat snarky comment about “seem not to know that much about any ‘prior art'”. But that was perhaps a bit unkind of me, perhaps even a bit arrogant, because that state is true of all of us: the scope covered by enterprise-architecture is so vast that there’s no possible chance that anyone could know all of it. Including me.

Hence nicely ironic that yesterday one of my Australian colleagues sent me this request for comment and advice, complete with a set of links to relevant articles:

Are there plans for a Customer model at the Enterprise level?

Might such a thing be a quick win?

To which I could hardly comment, because I hadn’t seen any of those items before. I don’t know when the USMBOK was published, but the Oracle TCA dates back to 2008; the diagram on Voice of the Customer (a concept I’d at least heard of, but not much more than that) shows a date of 2006; and the Customer Marketing Databases piece goes all the way back to 1999. Definitely ‘prior art’, in other words – and all of them clearly important to enterprise-architectures. Oops…

Moral of this story: don’t be so quick to judge others for faults which are likewise our own… Everyone struggles to find the right information here, to find the right balance between too much information and too little: we all need to help each other in this as best we can.

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2 comments on “Intimations of hubris
  1. peter_t says:

    Hmm – I wonder whom that might have been…

  2. Tom G says:

    A good question – and I ain’t sayin’ 🙂 – because that would be betraying professional confidentiality, wouldn’t it?

    (Unless I’m explicitly told beforehand that it’s okay to publish the name, that is. Or if it comes from a published Tweet or weblog post – in which case it’s not only public-domain, but professional etiquette to quote the source.)

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