Blog Posts Enterprise Architecture (EA)

The bucket-list – a keyword-schema

Blog: Tom Graves / Tetradian

I’ll admit it: there’s an awful lot of stuff on this website of mine. And there are so many tools and suchlike here that it can be difficult to find one’s way around, or to work out which tools to use for what or where or in each context.

Finding one’s way around is still likely to be difficult for a while yet. I’ve tried a few knowledge-base plug-ins and suchlike, but they just don’t seem to work right for this – or even work at all. Oh well. I’m still working on it, anyway.

But I can do something about ‘what to use for what’. Almost all of the tools are fractal, in that they can be used for just about any context at any level. Which means that one approach we can apply is to use keywords to switch between tools – for example, the tools summarised in the ‘bucket-list’, that in turn came from my post last year on ‘An inventory of sorts‘. If we’re working in some context, and one of the keywords comes up, in effect it points to one or more other tools that we could use to give us more detail or more insight into what’s happening in that context – and then optionally return back to where we were before we came across that keyword, but now with those new details and insights in hand.

Yes, it does take a bit of discipline to keep track of where we are at each point in the exploration – but it works. It’s what I’ve done in my own work for years – it’s just that I hadn’t noticed that I was doing it, or watching out for each of the keywords as I worked.

I’ve roughed out an initial list of keywords that, between them, cover most of the more common concerns in a business context or beyond. It’ll no doubt need some further development and refinement, but it should be enough as a start.

So here’s that alphabetical list of the keywords to date, and the tools (described in more detail below) that could be associated with each of those keywords:

To make it slightly easier to understand what goes where and with what, I’ve edited the list of tools to crossmap them, with some quick comments about their respective role and importance, onto the Five Elements process-sequence frame:

Here’s that matching list of tools, in alphabetical but otherwise arbitrary order:

You’ll see one example of this kind of ‘chaining’ of tools in the recent slidedeck for the IASA/ICS workshop on ‘Tracking value in the enterprise‘, with ten steps from existing concepts of value, to identifying enterprise-stakeholders, to modelling value-flow, and on to mapping balance of value between investors, beneficiaries and all other types of stakeholders.

Hope this is useful to you, anyway – perhaps try it out and let me know how it goes?

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