Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Enterprise Architecture: Increasing communication may hurt the enterprise...

Ever heard of a practice known as design by committee?

The defining characteristics of "design by committee" are needless complexity, internal inconsistency, logical flaws, banality, and the lack of a unifying vision. Much of this comes when enterprise architects are encouraged to communicate in hopes of increasing visibility at the expense of actually having any conceptual integrity.

The term is especially common in technical parlance. Often, when software is designed by a committee, the original motivation, specifications and technical reasons take a backseat and poor choices may be made merely to appease the egos of several individual committee members. Such products and standards end up doing too many things or having parts that fit together poorly (because the entities who produced those parts were unaware of each other's requirements for a good fit).

The key to good enterprise architecture is architecture. Architecture cannot be realized by lots of folks communicating to each other and has to start with the enterprise embracing the notion of conceptual integrity above everything else...

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