Structure in Threes -the Preface
Blog: Brian's Blog - Enterprise Strategy, Architecture and Management
Decided to start a little early actually writing the book. I know by the start of next year I’ll have restructured the original outline to better address the objectives I have, but I though several chucks of material could be written as these are unlikely to change much in the later editing process or will just move to new locations in the book.
It has been close to thirty years since John Zachman coined the term Enterprise Architecture and introduced business to the Zachman Framework. Over the years the metaphor has been used and abused, technical religions have grown around methodologies and still the term Enterprise Architecture is derisive.
- Is it an activity that produces a plan for building various systems?
- Is it the actual plan for an Enterprise?
- Is it a methodology to produce standard compliant designs?
- Is it a collection of diagrams that represent different types of information about the information systems used in an enterprise (Zachman Framework)
- Or maybe a specific set of standard components organized in a specific structured way
When I started the initial concept for this book years ago I had considered creating a text that would provide methods for designing an enterprise; this being the goal of Enterprise Architecture or at least my belief is the goal. However, over the years experience has taught me five things:
- Nothing is simple when explaining yourself [Lesson taught by John Zachman]
- Words have different meanings depending upon the context and experience of others [Lesson taught by Michael Kutcher, John Sowa, Gil Laware, and Frank Kowalkowski]
- The difference between a methodologist and a terrorist is that you can negotiate with the terrorist [Lesson taught by IBM CIM Architecture Department and TC184/SC4 & SC5 working groups]
- Thinking in the abstract and in multiple dimensions while technically possible by most, is often avoided in most enterprises in the name of speed and comprehension [Lesson taught by most managers and mid-level executives I’ve had to deal with]
- Nothing is foolproof as fools are so dam cleaver and Nature always sides with the hidden flaw [Murphy you were an optimist]
Those insights came to light over the years of associating and working with those I consider giants and mentors in the field. Included in this book are vignettes of how those insights were developed; if for no other reasons than to pay tribute to my mentors and colleagues and to establish part of the context for the content in the book.
That being the sand I started building this work upon, I realized I needed to answer several questions first before I introduced my approach to Enterprise Architecture. The book itself is meant to be a practical guide on “practicing” Enterprise Architecture, a theoretical text explaining my perspective on what Architecture or more specifically Enterprise Architecture is, and how these fundamentals are expressed in practice.