Blog Archives

An enterprise-architects’ mantra

Quick, brief and practical – three phrases that every enterprise-architecture should know by heart, and act on, too: “I don’t know… (but I know how to find out, or find someone who does)” “It depends… (and I know how to

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Posted in Complexity / Structure, Enterprise architecture

The dilution of enterprise-architecture

“What concerns me is the dilution of what EA means to the point it has no meaning.” That’s what he said. But is this a real concern that we should be worried about in enterprise-architecture? Or a red-herring that arises

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Posted in Business, Enterprise architecture

How do you think?

How do I think? How do I think, really? How do you think, exactly? How does anyone think – and describe their thinking? Especially about ‘big-picture’, often-abstract themes such as enterprise-architecture? Yeah, I’ve been struggling with this one a long time – a very

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Posted in Business, Complexity / Structure, Enterprise architecture, Knowledge

IT-centrism and real-world enterprise-architecture

Is there an IT-based solution to every business problem? And is the IT-based solution always the most efficient and effective option? One of my more constant struggles in EA is to get supposed ‘enterprise architects’ to think about each context in its

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Posted in Business, Complexity / Structure, Enterprise architecture

Two SCAN notes – 2: Causal Layered Analysis

Regular readers of this blog will know I refer quite often to one of the core techniques in futures-studies, Sohail Inayatullah’s Causal Layered Analysis (CLA). But as of a couple of weeks ago, you won’t find any reference to it on

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Posted in Complexity / Structure, Enterprise architecture, Futures

Two SCAN notes – 1: Edges

The SCAN framework describes sensemaking and decision-making in terms of four distinct ‘domains’, by convention labelled as Simple, Complicated, Ambiguous and Not-known. But what happens at the edges? (The domains themselves are fairly distinct, anyway, in the sense that viable

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Posted in Complexity / Structure, Enterprise architecture

At Integrated-EA 2014

Always an interesting event, this one: Integrated-EA, the annual Defence-oriented enterprise-architecture conference in London that’s been a favourite part of my calendar for some years now. This time I was only able to go to the second day – I

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Posted in Complexity / Structure, Enterprise architecture

Knowable and discoverable

“Profound garbage” – that was how he described my work. Well, I can’t complain: at least he described it as ‘profound’… Over the past few days there’s been a fair amount that’s gone all kinda philosophical and ‘meta’ on me,

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Posted in Complexity / Structure

SCANning the toaster

How about a nice, simple, first-hand everyday example of SCAN in action? Here’s the context: toasting my mid-morning snack – that old English delicacy, a hot-cross bun. Except that the toaster didn’t work. So here’s the toaster, with the two

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Posted in Complexity / Structure

Getting beyond ‘Just Do It’

Sometimes I really do despair of the ‘Just Do It’ crowd… In a previous post, I described the practical challenges faced by anyone starting out on something new, and used a few personal examples in my own work to illustrate this.

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Posted in Futures, The Outsider
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