Sunday, August 20, 2006


Enterprise Architecture: Perception of Change

one of the main goals of both enterprise archictecture and software engineering is to make software easier to change. However, if we all see change differently, it is hard to agree on the best practices to achieve this goal...

There is a fine distinction between making things appear different (IT/Business Alignment comes to mind) vs having done something that makes things happen differently (e.g. federated identity). Many enterprise architects are good at perceiving something has changed but don't really understand what, how, why and when it did.

Maybe we should distinquish between perceptions of general patterns of change, and perceptions of a given change. The second is more objective because it is a particular something that can be directly analyzed. The second also involves a mental summary of past changes endured and using those to estimate (distinct from predict) the pattern of future changes.

If we were to adopt pattern-oriented ways of framing EA problem spaces we would uncover many insights. We may realize that the practice of documenting current state on strategic initiatives may not be of much value. Likewise, documenting the way things change on top of this under the guise of making things clearer is somewhat analogous to gambling.

Reality states there is no long-term pattern to change. Short term patterns are often dictated by the current mangagement of a given company or the nature of the current market. There is more benefits in going after these kinds of changes.

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