Posts

Coherent modelling landscapes

The role of models in enterprise transformation
My previous blog was concerned with securing modelling effort. A specific aspect in this regard is the coherence of models. As promised, I will now elaborate on the coherence of models. Before reading this blog, it therefore makes sense to first read the previous one, where I also argue how enterprise transformation is a model-intensive activity, and why it therefore makes sense to secure modelling efforts.

The set of models produced during an enterprise transformation cover the entire chain of a transformation, ranging from models used for problem analysis, via architecture models, to specific designs. While these models clearly deal with different aspects of the enterprise, and are concerned with different stages during the transformation, they still deal with the same domain. Therefore, it is only natural to expect these models to have a strong coherence. Such an increased coherence would, for example, enable the re-use of investments m…

Securing modelling effort

The role of models in enterprise transformations
When enterprises aim to meet new challenges, or optimise themselves in terms of increased flexibility, effectiveness, or efficiency, they will transform themselves. In other words, they will engage themselves in a deliberate change. This may involve changes to several aspects, including organisational structures, their processes, their culture, as well as their IT systems.

In my view, such transformations will become increasingly model intensive in the sense that the driving process of (continuously!) assessing what to change, selecting the desired direction of a change, and consequently acting out the change, involves models in different roles (see one of my earlier blogs). On the one hand, the increase of the use of models is driven by the increasing role of IT as an integral part of business operations, bringing the model-intensive nature of IT development to enterprise transformation. On the other hand, the transformation of "the…

Life as a service; The cloud as my PA

In my previous blog I starting comparing Zen and enterprise architecture. I will definitely continue this stream in weeks to come. However, a recent comment on twitter concerning "Integration as a Service" triggered some dormant desires on a closer integration of services, that would truly support my life as an individual. At the moment, however, we suffer from scattered devices, scattered interfaces and scattered data. Let me elaborate.

Scattered devices
A few months ago, Microsoft's Steve Balmer stated that our PC Is Just One of Three Screens. More specifically: Now it's no longer just about the desktop but really a broader vision," Ballmer said, adding later: "Microsoft is transforming what Windows is, from a PC OS to a connected platform; an experience that spans the PC, the phone, the TV and the cloud."
This certainly is what one would expect in the age of cloud computing. As a Mac user I'll forgive him the reference to a PC rather than a Mac. H…

Enterprise architecture as organisational Zen

The way I have learned to understand Zen, is that it is about concentration and focus. By means of meditation, Zen teaches us to focus on the things you really want to focus on, meanwhile allowing us to obtain insight into our inner drives as well as our imprinted reflexes. Whenever we, as average beings, are put under stress, our imprinted reflexes tend take over, taking us away from the things that really matter to us. Instead, we start worrying about how good we are in our jobs, whether our boss likes us, threats to our status in society, et cetera.

Zen helps us in focusing on what is important. It does so by improving our mental discipline by way of meditation. This improved discipline allows us, in our daily live, to be more aware of situations where our mind starts wondering off. Especially when we are put under stress, and the mental reflexes that are imprinted in our mind (based on past experiences and shadow beliefs) take over. Once we have learned to observe such behaviour, w…

Architects: Execute and evaluate your methods!

Since architecture is a relative new field, much debate goes on about the methods and techniques to be used within the field. As one of the key competencies of an architects is to be able think conceptually, it is only natural for architects to engage in lengthy discussions about their tools, techniques, approaches and methods. A recent example of such a discussion can be found on the Via Nova Architectura website, where a rather opinionative posting on TOGAF 9 resulted in an involved discussion with 38 elaborate responses.In principle, there is nothing wrong with a critical attitude towards methods. Especially in developing disciplines, one needs to be critical about the efficiency and effectiveness of the methods we apply. Regretfully, however, current discussions on architecture methods tend to be based on opinions, views and impressions rather than facts derived from thorough evaluations in practice. In the earlier mentioned discussion on TOGAF 9, several participants referred to …

In the Name of the Rose; A personal challenge

When looking back on my blog entries over the past two months, you might notice that some have a more theoretical nature, while others have a more practical and/or societal nature. This mix reflects my dual role in industry and academia. I've been discussing this with some people. An obvious strategy would be to move the more theoretical entries to a separate blog. After some reflection I decided that I really shouldn't do so, but rather ensure I present the more theoretical topics in a way that is appealing to a wider audience.

Actually, I consider this to be one of my personal challenges. As discussed in one of my previous postings, I think we should move to towards slow science. I think part of that should include more the communication of scientific ideas to a wider audience, e.g. in terms of blogs,. I feel dearly about the scientific topics I have blogged about earlier. I think these topics deserve a fundamental approach. At the same time, the relevance of these topics to…

Slow Science; The road back to true science?

I was planning to write a blog entry on "Science 2.0". Increasingly, scientists make use of blogs to communicate about their research, in addition to traditional forms of publishing. I think this is really a positive sign in the sense that it may indicate a move back to more open scientific debates. I intended to discuss how science may have to change its trades in the sense that over the past 40 to 50 years, the scientific debate has made way for a competitive trade of producing ever more papers and even more citations to one's work. Meanwhile, the focus on measuring scientific production instead of fostering scientific debate has produced several, documented, negative side-effects. Sure! Quality of academic research is an issue, but reducing it to paper-counting is likely not to be the answer. What is known as bean-counting in industry has been supplemented by paper-counting in academia.

That was my plan. But then, I wrote my two previous entries on From "think-unl…