Saturday, November 26, 2005


Enterprise Architecture and Anti-metaphors

David Snowden came up with several anti-metaphors that highly applicable to enterprise architecture. In my travels, I have found that good ole American's understand analogies pretty well but that they don't translate well to folks from India and China. Maybe there is something to learn...

Anyway, David's anti-metaphor was all about why humans are not like ants (NOTE: my own thoughts on are italics next to the metaphor):

  1. We never make rational decisions unless we're autistic.
    How many IT systems are based on rational thought and design? I beg to differ that many so-called designs used tools such as Irrational Rose and may have even used a variant of RUP. I was always curious if Grady Booch were to walk the hallways of enterprises who practice RUP, would he even recognize it? Maybe RUP is like FUBAR. Maybe that's why so few systems that IT folk develop actually work and come in under budget.

  2. We have multiple identities and roles.
    Maybe this is the reason that most SoX efforts employ large insultancies to provide guidance on IAM

  3. We impute intentionality where none exists.
    Sometimes a pile of X is just a pile of X.

  4. We evolve to become malicious gossips.
    Which stories spread quickest? Successes or failures? Before you answer this, acknowledge that there is a difference between what Infoworld and Industry Analysts spread and what is spread in the hallways of corporate America

  5. We have free will.
    Of course we would love to belief that we are in charge of our own destiny. God is at the foundation of all success but to screw up royally. Our alignment efforts are not analogous to getting your ducks in a row...

Before I get into RUP trashing, I should at least point you to a couple of blogs that provide support for my perspective...

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