12 days ago

Confirming the direction

Link: http://weblog.tetradian.com/2019/01/07/confirming-the-direction/

Yeah, it’s been a while since I wrote anything new here… – kind of overdue for Normal Service Will Be Resumed and all that…?

But yes, I am still here, still working, still pushing onward.

And gratified to see that, yes, there is now an increasing interest in whole-enterprise architecture – the literal ‘the architecture of the enterprise’, that is, at every scope and scale.

Which, yes, confirms that this is still the right direction for me to go: maker of tools for change, for enterprise-architecture and beyond.

Okay, it’s true I’m frustrated that I’ve had so little success against the sheer cluelessness that currently cripples so much of the self-styled ‘enterprise’-architecture fields. Despite warnings upon warnings upon warnings, it seems there’s no way yet to prevail against the key creators of that cluelessness, the huge hype-machines behind dead-end frameworks such as TOGAF, Archimate, the BDAT-stack and Cynefin, each of which is still relentlessly misapplied way outside of their respective narrow niche, and each of which has been a real bugbear for my professional life for way too many years now. My advice to any enterprise-architect is the same as ever: that trying to use any of those, for anything other than certain specific special-cases, is most definitely Not A Good Idea. Yet it’s hard for one small voice to be heard at all against the endless howlings of the hype-machines. Oh well…

Hence, yes, frustrating: but if people actively choose to be clueless like that, there’s nothing more that I can do about it. From past experience, the mainstream just might catch on in another decade or two – but to be blunt, at my age it’s unlikely that I’ll still be around in any sense by the time that they do. In which case, best wash my hands of the whole miserable mess, and walk away.

Yet also walk away towards those who do want to do something more worthwhile instead. In other words, that world of whole-enterprise architectures and the like – because, yes, that one does feel a whole lot more worthwhile to me now.

And what also feels worthwhile is the need to make sure that we still have a world worth living in, in ten, twenty, fifty and more years from now. That’s something that matters. To me, at any rate, if not necessarily to anyone else.

Which is also why I’m fed up with most attempts to do enterprise-architectures for the commercial world: not only is it often still largely pointless, for the reasons earlier above, but most of them are still actively working against the changes that need to be made to ensure we still have a survivable world. Which makes trying to work there worse than a waste of time, twice over – at a time when we no longer have time to waste. Not A Good Idea…

So here’s the one-graphic summary of what I see as the single most important challenge we face:

So that’s the challenge where I most want to focus my attention from here on.

That’s what the tools in the toolset-inventory are really for, and where I believe they would deliver the most value for the most people in the world at large. To me, that’s the real role of enterprise-architecture – a literal ‘the architecture of the enterprise’, where the scope is the world as a whole, and maybe more.

Creating the architectures for a world worth living in, for everyone, right now, and for onward indefinitely into the future. In my case, building tools and techniques to help make that happen.

(If it happens to help current commercial organisations build their architectures for the immediate future, that’s fine too. Probably, anyway. But just note that that isn’t the real object of the exercise. Building a better world is.)

That’s the direction I need to go for now. It’d be great if you’d join me on that journey too.