Archive for September, 2011

September 27, 2011

Avoiding the Standard Metaphors for Enterprise Architecture

I recently read another thought-provoking article from Anna Mar (aka @simplicableanna) entitled “How to Explain Enterprise Architecture to Your Grandmother“. It contains good advice: “it is a useful exercise to think-out an explanation that doesn’t rely on specialized terms” – especially when you are thinking about what you do for a living! So, how does Anna respond to this challenge? With a tried and true metaphor for Enterprise Architecture:

A Enterprise Architect is like a city planner. A city planner sets building codes and plans common services such as roads and water. Enterprise Architects do the same thing for technology.

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September 20, 2011

Tim Harford’s Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure

Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with FailureAdapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure by Tim Harford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like Tim Harford’s books, and this is no exception: an entertaining and informative read on a new paradigm for success. Harford argues that you should avoid single, big, top-down, long-term strategies in favour of many, localised, small experiments that you can afford to have fail. Good experiments will succeed, bad ones will fail. This will give rise to emergent strategies – bottom up, localised approaches to solving problems that really work. If, during this process, you fail multiple times this should be both expected and planned for. Adaptability is key. Harford illustrates his idea with several intriguing case studies, including the war in Iraq and oil platform accidents. Highly recommended for those dealing with organisational strategy, innovation or just tackling the sorts of problems that are common in business.

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