The other day I had a chance to catch up with Alec Sharp as he was visiting Wellington. Alec was here teaching a course on advanced business process modelling for Software Education, and we managed to catch up. I know Alec through twitter and we have had a number of conversations, debates and arguments virtually, so it was great to finally talk to him in person over a beer at the Little Beer Quarter in Wellington. We had a far-ranging discussion of matters as diverse as beer, history, philosophy, process and data modelling, software development and pacific islands.
In an earlier post I raised the question of “what is sexy billing?” That is: what would an organisation’s billing capability look like if it was regarded as positive and desirable rather than negative and boring? This was based on assumptions about what “billing” was – an assumption questioned in the comments. So I then wrote a post describing what I thought “billing” meant. This in turn raises questions about what a bill really is, which I will attempt to answer here.
A few days ago I wrote a post about creating conceptual architectures using the Visual Architecting Process of Dana Bredemeyer and Ruth Malan. Kalle Pokkinen suggested that a sample diagram would be a great help, and I agreed. So I thought I would do more than just give a sample diagram, I would give a small sample conceptual architecture including a diagram and the accompanying documentation. Please note that this is a sample, it is not a complete or full conceptual architecture. It has not been through the rigorous process of peer review and interrogation that we would expect of a real architecture. It is merely intended to illustrate the use of the process and templates from the Visual Architecting Process. The example here just shows a diagram of the conceptual components, and a brief description of them. It doesn’t include other aspects of a conceptual architecture such as a architecturally significant requirements, system qualities or architectural mechanisms. However, it should be enough to give you an idea of what a conceptual architecture might look like. If you like it – let me know. If you have any questions about it – feel free to give me a shout in the comments!
A piece of advice I was recently given was that I shouldn’t worry about strategy tools and models (e.g. strategy maps, five forces, balanced score cards etc.) but instead should just get on and “do” the strategy. The advice comes down to: don’t focus on the method for coming up with and describing your strategy – focus on what you need to do and how you are going to do it. My initial response was “this is good advice when you are doing strategy, but not so good when you are wanting to use or model existing strategy” (for instance when doing enterprise architecture). On further reflection, I think I was mistaken.