First it is fair to give a definition. Sycophancy is flattery that is very obedient, or an indication of deference to another, to an excessive or servile degree. I recently read articles on establishing architects in all areas of engineering. During the period of 1833 -1854 one of these attempts is well document in the “The Civil Engineer and Architect’s Journal”, with other attempts being done on railway and transport industries. During that time a lot of things were discussed such as objects, means and skills (actually an exact copy of capabilities) and some even started with the “W” a la Zachman. In the 100 years after this until IT and Enterprise architecture was established there many small attempts to re-establish a more holistic view in and around engineering, but never to the degree it was done in the early 19th century.
The phase in the early 19th century actually lasted about the same time as the idea of architecture in IT and Enterprise has lasted now, even if we think that we have created something new. When talking with the few historian that know about the time of holistic architecture and system thinking (even before system thinking was established) they all agree that the architects of that time all obediently followed the talk of the industry leaders that was void of concrete things, similar as today talking about buzzwords such as Industrialisation 5.0, Digitalisation, etc. Additionally the architects were often full of flattery to those in power to the degree that the engineers stopped talking and listening to them.
Consequently many other attempts were often stopped in the track as the architect often all went for Sycophancy (also defined as the second pit on the eights circle of hell) instead of the boring real aspects of their work. I personally think that architecture will only have a chance to last this time if we concentrate on the dull, but profitable part of our work and avoid to try to suck up to anyone.