As architects we love to model and create a lot of designs. As long as those designs are purely technical in nature we can see the outcome as something were we get a good or bad feedback and adapt. However once we move into solutions, enterprise or business architecture the situation changes as we suddenly adopt or create models that no longer have an instant feedback. So when we than develop into areas like total quality management, capability modelling and hot maps, business process management, CMMI,etc. we often find that a lot of the designs we are producing are used to make fun of business life. Any architect who suddenly finds himself the centre piece of any comic show will either take it with good humor (which tells the audience he is not convinced of his own work) or he will be upset.
This is the place were I want to introduce the family as a reference for all this non technical architecture. When you for example ask most enterprise or business architects from what size of company they think that their architecture makes sense they will rightly answer from any size. So this is why I offer the family as it is almost the smallest complex unit of organisation. Within a family you will often find different capabilities, as well as all the potential conflicts that you have in a larger organisation. During some time I have often asked my fellow architects if they would transfer the masterful models of business architecture into their families and usually they would just tell me that this would not work with their families, but that this was beside the point. I however am a stern believer that if something is not working in the small unit it will not work in a larger organisation in the same way as integrity is defined that you will act the same in private as you will do in business.
Therefore I like to try out all things in a family and A family can range from two people unto a larger unit. So when you are convinced that your style of design or framework will work in an organisation, first try it in your family unit as if it does not work there it will likely not work in a complexes environment and if you are not willing to try it in your family you are unlikely to get it happening in a larger group. The same is also true for all that like game theory and will find out that if you try out game theory at home you will get a lot of grief. So this is why the family is a crucial reference point for any architect with integrity, regardless of how you define a family.