5 years, 5 months ago

What framework should I use?

Link: http://www.etc-architect.com/?p=251

I often get asked this or some similar question and usually I answer with two questions:

The first question is what do you, your stakeholders & your organisation want as an outcome? This question is very important as most architects often do not understand the difference between frameworks, ontologies and other methodologies. If you & your organisation for argument sake want the as is, the full analysis and the result on a single powerpoint I will answer you differently then if your enterprise wants a complete inventory with connections to service management and hot maps of all areas. Again if your company only wants something like a gap map to facilitate the phase from strategy planning to strategy execution I will again give you another answer.

The second and more fundamental question is regarding the style of the organisations dynamics. You can have on one extreme a company where all things acted on by the idea and command of one person and his whim. This may in some cases even be the chief architect himself, but usually the company’s founder. In such a company the best thing an architect can do is try to clean the mess after the decisions were made. The other extreme is an organisation with a set 5 year plan that is going to be adhered to no matter what. Usually such organisations employ a large body of architects and since they are immune of outside factors this environment is ideal for a clean system thinker. Both extremes require very different approaches. Additional you have all kid of dynamics in between such as agile led, classic waterfall, portfolio managed, strategy driven, etc.

Any of combination of answers to the questions above will result in a very different way of approaching architecture even if most frameworks will argue it different. Additional you will always find the bulk of frameworks in the area where you will find the bulk of architects employed, which is in the large public sector so actually the extreme on stability and clear objections. This often also means that the number of available frameworks useable in a more chaotic environment are diminishing and as such you are often faced with a huge pool on one hand and virtually nothing on the other side where you are often best with something bad.

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