7 years, 8 months ago

The Simplest metamodel in the world ever!


No need to thank me, don’t worry this metamodel will be released under GPL. You can refer to it as ‘The Thing MetaModel’.

Some thoughts:

1) Some of the most effective architecture diagrams I’ve seen have been created using powerpoint objects

2) The stakeholder community that either understands or cares about the difference between modelling an object as a platform service/information system service/logical technology/application component/physical technology/application component is so small and the semantic impact so tiny that its not something you should worry about if you wish to be efficient and effective.

3) Effective and efficient Enterprise Architects should Nevermind the metabollocks and focus on delivering tangible value into the organisations with which they work by focusing on communicating effectively with stakeholders. Communicating effectively with stakeholders is not predicated on successfully navigating a metamodel. Your stakeholders don’t give a fuck about a metamodel.

7 years, 8 months ago

Agile is not Agility

Agile is a way of changing things.

Agility is a quality of the things you want to change. 

If moving one block is going to bring down the tower, being agile won’t help much.

And being agile doesn’t stop you building lots and lots of towers.


Photo: Antony Mayfield

Copyright 2013 Creative Commons 2.0 Generic


7 years, 8 months ago

Agility is not Speed

Agility is the ability to change direction quickly.

The paradox of agility is that it is that the slower you are moving the faster you can change direction.

Just going really fast, in the belief that speed is agility, can lead to a nasty, sudden stop.


Photo by Dan Masa


creativecommons.org 2.0

8 years, 11 months ago

Learn to spot Unicorns


Horns, horses and wings exist.

Unicorns do not.

Just because you can talk about “proactive infrastructure”, a “dynamically configurable platform”, or “contextually aware flow routing”, doesn’t mean they exist.

There are a lot of folk out there selling Unicorn architectures.

Learn to subject proposed architectures to common-sense, plain-English reality checks.

9 years, 8 months ago

EA in Plain English: “Waiter, there’s a fly in my model!”

In machine-based symbolic processing, ambiguity is the original sin. However, as most legal documents demonstrate, language that tries to remove ambiguity quickly becomes unintelligible to people. Recently I downloaded a copy of Archi, a free tool for drawing architectural diagrams in the ArchiMate visual modelling language. It’s a well built little tool and it allowed […]

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10 years, 7 months ago

Why not call that which you’ve named the cup’s architecture, the cup’s essence? (Essence: the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, which determines its character.)

(skiplumley’s question refers to this post: What is Architecture)

There isn’t any strong reason to avoid using the word essence to describe something definitive. 

As long as we recognise that ‘essence’ is a philosophical term. It’s meaning depends on one’s ontological commitments.

Architecture intends structure. In the built world I think architecture is an appropriate term. In the video I posted the word architecture does the job very nicely. It is clear, to the point and does not invite too many digressions.

To quote a nineteenth-century american revivalist, “That is perfect that best suits the purpose for which it is intended.” As the purpose of the video is to get the viewer to think more deeply about what architecture is – I should think, by definition, architecture is a fine word to use in this context. 

Which is not to say it is the perfect term to use in every possible answer to the question “What makes a cup a cup?”

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10 years, 7 months ago

The Business? No!


From Baked Idea, this scathing critique of a favourite enterprise architecture cliche…

“Unless you are some sort of corporate stowaway that has secreted yourself into an organisation just for shits and giggles, you are part of ‘the business’…

There is no gigantic creature called ‘The business’ sitting in your stationery cupboard saying “no!”..

Referring to ‘the business’ is a sign of laziness. It is a sign that you can’t be arsed to put the effort into thinking about your context…

10 years, 9 months ago

The Irony of Enterprise Architecture

It has been observed that…

Every institution tends to preserve the problem to which it is the solution.

When I think of enterprise architecture as an institution irony often ensues…

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10 years, 9 months ago

What if value is in the noise?


If thought precedes action, what idea does enterprise architecture move towards? 

The clarity of a signal lifted out of the noise? Tidy cubicles or hacker spaces?

To find a form that accommodates the mess, that that now the task of the enterprise architect.

(Apologies to Beckett).