13 years, 6 months ago

A kind of change-of-year review

Link: http://weblog.tomgraves.org/index.php/2011/01/03/a-kind-of-change-of-year-review/

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when it’s worthwhile reflecting on the old adage that we overestimate what we can do in a week, or a month, but underestimate what we can do in a whole year.

Right now I’m in one of those dreaded between-project spaces where nothing much seems to be happening. On the writing side, I do have several ideas brewing, but probably the most urgent task I have at present is to convert all of my existing books to Kindle/EPUB e-book formats – a lengthy exercise in tedium that I’m not looking forward to at all, but must be done Real Soon Now. There are a fair stream of consultancy and seminar prospects for my current business-trip here in Australia, but nothing much is likely to happen until people start to trickle back from the summer holidays over the next couple of weeks or so. And other prospects elsewhere – a fair bit brewing in Latin America, as well as at least a couple of conferences back in Britain – but again they’re all some months away into the future. E-book preparation time, I guess…

Looking back, though, I was in a similar position the same time last year – and a lot has happened since then:

  • almost two hundred posts on this weblog, including the regular ‘A week in Tweets‘ posts, 84 posts on enterprise-architecture themes, 19 posts on the Enterprise Canvas model-type, 12 posts describing my incomplete and unpublished book ‘Mythquake‘, and a variety of posts on other topics (mainly economics or societal themes)
  • at least a couple of thousand Tweets on Twitter, with probably three or four hundred new followers (currently 720, filtered to remove spammers etc)
  • posted four new slidedecks to Slideshare
  • presented in sessions at three enterprise-architecture conferences (Rome, Amsterdam, Stockholm)
  • wrote and published two new books: Everyday Enterprise-Architecture (which summarises the actual practices and thinking-processes in enterprise-architecture work), and Mapping the Enterprise (which presents and describes how to use the Enterprise Canvas model-type)
  • well over two thousand downloads of the enterprise-architecture books or sample-books from my Tetradian Books publishing-website, and almost as many downloads of the related reference-sheets

All manner of small consultancy-projects (such as helping an Australian consultancy adapt Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas for use by a non-profit organisation), and many great meetups and conversations on enterprise-architecture and other themes. (There were also some less-than-pleasant interactions with the infamous Welsh Dragon and a few folks on LinkedIn, though the less said about those, the better, I guess? – thankfully their attacks seem to have eased off at present, anyway… :-( )

In terms of travel, I’ve perhaps been a little less adventurous than the previous year, but the work still took me from Britain to Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, the US, Mexico and, now, Australia. (There was also a major prospect in northern Africa, but unfortunately it didn’t come off… oh well, next year, perhaps?) The upcoming year looks more interesting again: for example, more in Mexico and Central America for certain, with some good prospects in Brazil and elsewhere. Looks like the passport is going to get another workout, anyway. :-)

There’s also been a major shift in enterprise-architecture in general, with a much stronger awareness that its scope will necessarily extend beyond the ‘traditional’ comfort-zone of IT. All of the Open Group conferences this last year, for example, have placed much greater emphasis on the role of business-architecture, not just as a precursor to IT-architecture (as at past conferences), but as a distinct discipline in its own right; the excellent Biner EA conference in Stockholm was almost solely about the business-architecture domain. To me there’s still quite a long way to go before a true ‘architecture of the enterprise’ goes mainstream, but it’s a huge improvement on where we were a couple of years ago. Given that that struggle is now almost won, my usual habit would be to move on to find another challenge, perhaps around the quietly-developing ‘business anarchist’ theme: but this time it feels like I really ought to stay in this enterprise-architecture domain for a while yet, to consolidate the gains and bring all of the developments into more solid practice – especially around the Enterprise Canvas and the like. Comments/suggestions on that, anyone?

I still haven’t done much on the two key long-term developments mentioned in the previous year’s review, namely the ‘business-anarchist’ (about working with change rather than fighting against it), and the Yabbies project (about a major rethink of economics for sustainability). I suspect that both of those will stay in abeyance for now, but Watch This Space, perhaps?

And now, back to work… :-)