As you all know, I believe in the value of enterprise architecture, and even more strongly, I recognize the unique talents and contributions of real-world (‘street-smart’) enterprise architects.
At the same time, I’m increasingly concerned about the macro-direction of our field, as we continue to suffer ivory tower enterprise architecture punditry, rigid frameworks and endless philosophical waxing.
A couple of weeks ago, I attempted to inject a little action / purpose / outcome orientation in the enterprise architecture conversation with the following tweet:
“Today’s word for Enterprise Architects: Utilitarian [u-til-i-tar-i-an]: designed to be useful or practical rather than attractive. #entarch“
Well, as you might expect, I got
nit-picked parsed. That architecture by definition is attractive. [Aargh!] My intended point was “useful or practical”. Not easily defeated, I restated as follows:
“better stated, i think every #entarch needs to have a utilitarian perspective”
If you can’t answer “what is the purpose?”, that is an early warning indicator of folly, or worse. This “utilitarian” aspect is something I find myself circling back to more and more, especially in my work on business architecture.
Anyway, on Friday, after witnessing yet another definitional discussion on enterprise architecture, I tried to inject the utilitarian perspective again with the following on twitter:
“Ok, last time: It’s not what enterprise architecture IS that matters. It’s what enterprise architecture DOES that matters. #entarch“
So remember, next time someone tries to drag you down a “what & how” conversation on enterprise architecture, steer them to “why & outcomes“. It’ll be more productive, in the moment, and for your long-term practice.