2 years, 8 months ago

Data as pictures?

Many people believe that data should provide a faithful representation or picture of the real world. While this is often a helpful simplification, it can sometimes mislead.Firstly, the picture theory isn’t very good at handling probability and uncertai…

3 years, 4 months ago


Overview Evidence-based medicine (‘EBM’) is “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.” [1] The aim of EBM is to integrate the experience of t…

6 years, 9 months ago

Organizations as Systems – Kurosawa, Clausewitz, and Chess

In order to respond appropriately to the context we find ourselves in, it’s helpful that we be able to correctly define that context. It’s something humans aren’t always good at. Not too long ago, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War was all the rage as among executives. While the book contains some excellent lessons that […]

7 years, 7 months ago

Form Follows Function on SPaMCast 411

This week’s episode of Tom Cagley’s Software Process and Measurement (SPaMCast) podcast, number 411, features Tom’s essay on Servant Leadership (which I highly recommened), John Quigley on managing requirements as a part of product management, a Form Follows Function installment based on my post “Organizations as Systems – ‘Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the […]

7 years, 8 months ago

Organizations as Systems – “Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown”

  One of the benefits of having a (very) wide range of interests is that every so often a flash of insight gets dropped into my lap. In this case, it was a matter of “We must recognise that single events have multiple causes” showing up as a suggested read from Aeon on the same […]

8 years, 12 days ago

Form Follows Function on SPaMCast 389

This week’s episode of Tom Cagley’s Software Process and Measurement (SPaMCast) podcast, number 389, features Tom’s essay on Agile acceptance testing, Kim Pries talking about soft skills, and a Form Follows Function installment on sense-making and decision-making in the practice of software architecture. Tom and I discuss my post “OODA vs PDCA – What’s the […]

8 years, 26 days ago

NPM, Tay, and the Need for Design

Take a couple of seconds and watch the clip in the tweet below: While it would be incredibly difficult to predict that exact outcome, it is also incredibly easy to foresee that it’s a possibility. As the saying goes, “forewarned is forearmed”. Being forewarned and forearmed is an important part of what an architect does. […]

8 years, 3 months ago

OODA vs PDCA – What’s the Difference?

In my post “Architecture and OODA Loops – Fast is not Enough”, I stated that sense-making and decision-making were critical skills for the practice of software architecture. I further stated that I found the theories of John Boyd, particularly his OODA loop, useful in understanding and describing effective sense-making and decision-making. My conclusion was that […]

8 years, 5 months ago

First Do No Harm – the Practice of Software Development

Analogies are never perfect, but reading Erik Dietrich’s “Do Programmers Practice Computer Science?” brought one to mind. Software development has much in common with the practice of medicine. Software development, like medicine, involves the application of knowledge. Also like medicine, this application is made complex by considerations of context. Yet another commonality is that in […]

8 years, 11 months ago

Capitalizing on Complexity and Uncertainty

Darren Dalcher, one of my colleagues at Cutter Consortium, has written an Advisor about “The Third Knowledge Revolution: Learning to Live with Uncertainty” (Cutter login required) that has a lot of relevance to enterprise architects. My experience, research and client work shows that knowledge is one of eight fundamental factors that we need to include in EA…

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