Posts by Chris Aitken

Abstraction: Achieving Alignment At 10,000 Feet

Have you ever attempted to align two ‘high level’ models? Sure there are likely to be features they both have in common – but then there is likely to be the rest of the model where things have been grouped differently, rolled up into different categories or described at differing levels of detail.

On occasion as a practitioner it can be tempting to forgo rigor and precision when asked to produce a ‘high level model’, especially when asked by a significant business stakeholder under tight timeframes and budget. However, in my experience the downstream consequences of getting a ‘high level’ model wrong can be significant.

Enterprise Design – Fad or Wicked Opportunity?

Enterprise Design is a term we have come to use within Enterprise Architects to describe the merging of the disciplines of Service Design, Information Management and Enterprise Architecture. We have discussed the importance of Information Architecture and Information Management here previously; the focus of this article is the relationship between Design Thinking, Service Design and Enterprise Architecture.

Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication

Good design is one of the core elements of the Enterprise Architecture discipline. I recently came across and was inspired by Mike Monteiro’s presentation at Webstock 2013. Mike’s presentation was a ‘call to action’ to designers of all walks of life to take their responsibility seriously and deliver good design. This caused me to re-visit a paper I presented some time ago at the Software Engineering Conference in 2010 that aimed to identify the principles of good design[1].

Business Function: Does it still have a place in Business Architecture?

Capability modelling has become something of a de facto standard within contemporary Enterprise Architecture practice. Capability-based planning is also a proven tool when it comes to change portfolio management and the development of strategic roadmaps. However, I wonder if we architects aren’t guilty at times of being overzealous in our readiness to label anything that a business does or needs as a ‘business capability’, resulting in capability models that are in reality a mixture of capabilities, services, business functions and processes?

Data is NOT Information

Data is not information, neither is data architecture the same as information architecture, despite the two terms often being used interchangeably.