Blog Archives

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

Efficient versus effective

What is ‘efficiency’? – in particular, ‘efficiency’ in any system that’s subject to real-world variances? Starting-point for this one was yet another passing item in my Twitterstream: RT @MentalHealthCop: If providers are contractually obliged to run hospitals at 98% capacity, is

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

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

Avoiding delusions of strategy

What is a strategy? How do we create a strategy? – rather than merely a delusion of ‘strategy’? Several of the folks in my Twitterstream – Gerold Kathan and Shawn Callahan, amongst others – pointed recently to a great HBR

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Posted in Business, Futures

Problem-space, solution-space and SCAN

Uh-oh, Ric Phillips is back… And I do mean that as a compliment! Too often, when people ‘get it wrong’, it’s because they haven’t bothered to read the description, or to think, or both. But when someone like Ric –

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Posted in Complexity / Structure, Enterprise architecture

Can complex-systems be ‘architected’?

A great question from Jeff Sussna, as a follow-on to my ‘manifesto‘ post: RT @jeffsussna: @tetradian question: can complex systems like your ‘enterprise’ actually be ‘architected’? And yeah, it’s also a tricky question, because a lot of any answer depends

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Posted in Complexity / Structure, Enterprise architecture

The science of enterprise-architecture (short version)

(The previous post, ‘The science of enterprise-architecture‘, covered a lot of ground, but ended up kinda long – again… So for those with tendencies towards TL;DR, here’s a somewhat shorter version. ) How much is enterprise-architecture a science? To put

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Posted in Complexity / Structure, Enterprise architecture
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