Archives September 2018

AT#6: Enterprise Architecture is not TOGAF

AT#6: Enterprise Architecture is not TOGAF

Today I want to point to an article of Svyatoslav Kotusev, an independent researcher, who questions whether the Open Group Architecture Framework® (TOGAF®) is the industry standard framework that enterprise architects really deserve.

https://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/55547

In light of these findings the growing popularity of TOGAF® can hardly be attributed to the real usefulness of its advice, but rather to a lack of any better alternative sources on EA.

The Architectural Thinking Framework® wants to become an alternative, open source on EA that is based on the real-world experience of many practitioners.

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AT#5: Architectural Thinking – the iPhone of Enterprise Architecture Management

AT#5: Architectural Thinking – the iPhone of Enterprise Architecture Management

Typical deliverables and methods of current Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) practices are overwhelmingly complex. EAM tools often include hundreds of out-of-the-box diagrams. The two most common architectural meta-models provided by The Open Group® (ArchiMate®, TOGAF® Content Metamodel) are voluminous and consist of 30+ artifacts and 100+ potential relations between artifacts. Those meta-models are based on sophisticated meta-meta models but have severe issues with clarity. To illustrate this, let’s compare the way an application can be modeled with ArchiMate® with the artifact ‘Application’ of the Architectural Thinking Framework:

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AT#3: Design Thinking is cool! Architectural Thinking makes it amazingly cool!

AT#3: Design Thinking is cool! Architectural Thinking makes it amazingly cool!

Companies are in an uncomfortable position today. On the one hand, the digital transformation is forcing them to innovate at an increasing pace. On the other side, they run on a historically grown legacy IT and huge technical debt. The past is cemented into the vast existing application landscape, but the future requires a rapid transformation. For this reason, innovation methods such as “Design Thinking” and the ideas of the agile organization have gained massive popularity in recent years. It is hard to find a larger company that does not run an ‘Open Innovation Space’ where people innovate and build prototypes, and that is a good thing in principle. The only problem is, however, that companies usually do not steer their innovation initiatives towards a big picture.

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AT#2: Demystifying Enterprise Architecture

AT#2: Demystifying Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise Architecture is still a mystical discipline, ruled by vague frameworks, surrounded by the fog of bloated concepts providing only little practical advice.

Let’s hand over to our friend, Nemanja Kostic who provides a humorous overview about the state of the practice. He makes suggestions that discuss how to demystify Enterprise Architecture,. This suggestions are quite compatible with our vision of Architectural Thinking.

http://www.entarchs.com/blog/demystifying-enterprise-architecture.html

 

What you should do:

  • heavily downsize the architecture meta-model. Focus your models and maps on value streams, capabilities, business objects, applications, technology components. It is enough to build a great! enterprise architecture practice.
  • build a lean but strict governance that welcomes the architecture work of many members of solution teams.
  • get out of the ivory tower. Sell the idea and significance of architecture to your agile teams and to business people.

AT#1: Regain Control – make Business People accountable for Architecture

AT#1: Regain Control – make Business People accountable for Architecture

Most IT landscapes of larger companies consist of hundreds of applications that are interconnected via poorly designed interfaces. In most companies, these IT landscapes already have an enormous technical debt (see Bob Martin’s Blog), i.e., an ‘unnecessary complexity’. In my experience, a company typically runs between 80% and 90% more IT applications (and therefore also servers, databases, networks, costs) compared to what would be needed if it had implemented the ideal architecture. A tremendous waste of money and resources, and the reason why IT is perceived as tardy and as a cost factor and not as an enabler.

The following figure shows schematically what typical application landscapes of medium to large companies today look like:

 

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Launch of the Architectural Thinking Framework®

Launch of the Architectural Thinking Framework®

The Architectural Thinking Association® is proud to launch the first draft of the Architectural Thinking Framework® which is a truly open, lightweight architectural framework that is based on the experience of many practitioners.

The Architectural Thinking Framework® has the goal to ensure that all the solutions of a company fit together in order to balance the dimensions (i) customer value, (ii) finance and (iii) sustainability in a way that maximizes the overall value from an enterprise-wide viewpoint in the short and the long term.

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Please spread the Ideas of Architectural Thinking!