Archives June 2019

AT#39: EAM – Be a Gardener not an Architect!

AT#39: EAM – Be a Gardener not an Architect!

“I think there are two types, the architects, and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there’s going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don’t know how many branches it’s going to have, they find out as it grows.”

Novelist R.R. Martin


Over the course of my twelve years of experience as an Enterprise Architect, I have seen EA initiatives in more than twenty large companies; only two or three of which were successful, i.e., they had a significant or even noticeable impact on the real world’s software-projects. A pattern I saw, again and again, is that the ‘planning-oriented’ top-down, engineering approaches typically employed by EAs do not work when faced with the unknowability and unpredictability of real-world bottom-up software development projects. This observation made me think that enterprises aren’t architected at all. Defining a target state for five years later? There are too many unknown influencing factors. Read More

AT#37: Stop Botching your IT-Landscape!

AT#37: Stop Botching your IT-Landscape!

Things happen in IT projects.  At times, some quality elements will be sacrificed in order to offset the vagaries of the project delivery scene.  A solution that works of course.  But as discussed in a previous article, a working solution brings no comfort regarding its quality, since almost anything can be done in the virtual dimensions of software and computers. And when issues arise to put pressure on IT teams, a suboptimal alternative will be presented as a fix, a patch, a temporary solution, or as the most wickedly named: the tactical solution. In circles of experienced IT managers and practitioners, the ‘tactical solution’ sits somewhere between fairy tale and sham.

The word ‘tactical solution’ suggests to the non-IT stakeholder that the chosen tactic is a step sideways, and that once the applicable steps are taken, the product should attain the desired state, which is often labeled as the strategic or target solution. Because the tactical solution works (since anything in IT can be made to work), it could be viewed as a small step in the right direction.

After this dodged solution is implemented, we simply need to perform a few extra steps to reach the strategic state, right?


Not really.

Read More


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