Enterprise Transformation

A Pragmatic Approach Using POET


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The Architecture Paradigm™ exists to help people deal with the Structural Complexity and Transformational Volatility of things. When things get too volatile or too complex, The Architecture Paradigm™ can help. But what do we really mean by “Architecture”?

Here we see an illustration of what we define to be a system. A system can represent anything; a boat, a car, an application, a business process an Enterprise. We can also see that any system exists within a context. A context that is made up of other systems, in whole or in part.

So what do we define architecture to be?

The architecture of anything (X) is…

“The fundamentally important structure of the whole of X...”

The first import term here is “fundamentally important”. What does that mean? It means things of “Architectural significance”. What does that mean? That’s a bit more difficult to pin down, because what is architecturally significant changes depending on many factors, most of which come from the context.

The second important term here is “the whole of”. This means we do not look at only one part of X, we look at the whole of X. In its entirety.

So, that sounds like a good definition.

“The fundamentally important structure of the whole of X...”

And that is where many definitions and peoples understanding of Architecture ends. But it is missing the most crucial and important aspect…

“… set in the context of things outside of X that affect X, or are affected by X.”

So, when you consider the architecture of something (X in this case) we do not only look at X. We also look at what is outside of X. It’s context. And as we have learned before, since “Context is King™”, one might say that the context is the most important part of architecture, but also, the component that many people miss. Many miss this crucial aspect because most people have an engineering mind, and for engineers, the parts of X are of most importance.

The Building Analogy

Many people use the building analogy when talking about architecture and while there are a lot of generic similarities they differ in two extremely important respects. Firstly, the architecture of a lot of things is mostly important to be able to build them, like Buildings, while the architecture of the Enterprise is mostly important to be able to change it. To Transform it. Secondly, what is produced in the Building world is tangible, physical things that can be seen and touched - they are bound by the laws of physics, and it doesn’t matter how important you are or how much money you have, you cannot install the light fittings before you have erected the ceiling. Physical anomalies that make no sense cannot be hidden and forgotten about. However, in the world of Enterprises there are no such limitations, people can, and frequently do install “the lights” before “the ceiling”, or decide that an “effluence outlet” would be a good idea in a “kitchen”. There are no physical limitations and the scope for hiding or ignoring things that are bad is immense.


Questions to ponder...

What do you think “The Architecture Paradigm™” is?

Does it agree with Pragmatics Definition?

What do others in your Enterprise think?

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