A kind of manifesto (short version)

Enterprise-architecture is dead; long live the architecture of the enterprise? Or something like that, anyway…

Time for a kind of manifesto, I guess?

As is perhaps too usual in my writing, the full-length version of the ‘manifesto’ ended up, uh, kinda long… So here’s a short-form summary, consisting only of the highlighted statements in that ‘manifesto’: if you need more detail, refer back to the full-length version.

One point I perhaps first need to clarify: By ‘enterprise‘ (or ‘shared-enterprise’) here I do not mean the organisation-as-enterprise, but something several orders-of-magnitude larger – that which the organisation chooses (if only by default) to orbit:

Anyway, on with the show:

— We create an architecture for an organisation, about a broader shared-enterprise.

— The shared-enterprise is not, and never can be, under our organisation’s control.

— Recursion is an inherent part of the picture here, at every scale.

— In a viable architecture of the enterprise, everywhere and nowhere is ‘the centre’, all at the same time.

— The shared-enterprise is perhaps best-understood as an ‘ecosystem-with-purpose’.

Everything within the shared-enterprise depends on everything else.

— No item in the enterprise is inherently ‘more important’ or ‘less important’ than any other.

The purpose and reason for ‘the architecture of the enterprise’: that things work better when they work together, on purpose.

— People and their needs are the ultimate start-point and end-point of all concerns in the shared-enterprise.

— Technology is only ever an enabler – never ‘the sole centre’.

— We must always place people first in the enterprise – not the technology.

We need to rethink how work itself is organised, within the organisation and beyond.

Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity are characteristics that every architecture must address.

The architecture of the enterprise is inherently contextual.

— Architecture sits at the intersection of structure and story.

Architectural methods should support and be applied to the enterprise of ‘the architecture of the enterprise’ itself.

 Work for the architecture of the enterprise takes place over multiple, overlapping timescales.

Next: what does this mean in practice? – perhaps especially for my own future work?

Watch This Space, I’d suggest? 🙂

3 Comments on “A kind of manifesto (short version)

    • Thanks, Jack.

      “Would you clarify the difference between customer-prospects and non-clients please?”

      Sure. A customer-prospect is someone who could become an active client; a non-client is someone who is a stakeholder in the overall shared-enterprise, but either wouldn’t or couldn’t be a client.

      Some simple examples of non-clients:
      — someone who’s too old or too young (for example, you do dance-parties for 18-25s: people of any age may like to dance – they’re in the ‘let’s dance!’ shared-enterprise – but your own products/services place an age-constraint on who you deliver to/for)
      — someone who’s the wrong sex (for example, obstetric services: fathers, grandparents, children may all be involved, but they’re not clients for the services)
      — someone who’s in a different location that you don’t or can’t serve

  1. The question is Tom . . . What is the Enterprise? I believe we have to start from the proposition that the Enterprise of the Future is fundamentally changed; and some of your assertions are right on. But we need to understand that future shape, model it, and we can talk about how to architecture for it. http://www.slideshare.net/DSprott/ea-30

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