Monday, March 05, 2007


Do Enterprise Architects understand Engineering?

An IT executive whom I have the utmost respect for is always talking about engineering principles. Figured I would share publicly, what I believe he is referring to...

Before we get started, it is vital that folks don't get it twisted and confuse architecture with engineering. An architect may (and usually does) design something without regard for engineering. The deliverable may meet esthetic requirements but otherwise may not conform to sound engineering principles. Engineering contains the following notions that aren't never really discussed in context of architecture:

Enterprise Architects will probably struggle the most with the last bullet as we tend to be more believers in consensus building than in engineering principles. Consensus building tends to travel the path where the optimal solution is eschewed in favor of the more popular solution. Likewise, Enterprise Architects at large, still are controlled by the business instead of being viewed as an advocate.

I am of the belief that if Enterprise Architects start studying the discipline of engineering, we will make our enterprises better in the long term. Of course, there will be pain in the short haul as folks may not be ready for disciplined thinking, but the payoffs are too important to ignore...

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