Innovating strategic management and business design through Interweaving

The blog channels WorkEm's knowledge, skills, approaches and values.

These posts are aimed at ordinary readers interested in pragmatics use of and benefits of Interweaving and Architecting. No need to be an expert, just interested.

Subcategories from this category:

Framing the Essence, Ways of I&A, EA Debate

The W (with) that J. Zachman missed

It was a fun idea to write this article a couple of years ago. But, then the realities of the thought started to become problematic. After a while the reported EA problems with generating business outcomes became tedious to listen to and trying react to. So I decided to move on, with a new product development and a Pivot, the Interweaving practice. But, here is a short version of the article.

The Zachman Framework (now called Zachman Enterprise Ontology) is part of the enterprise architecture (EA) inheritage. It was invented and now maintained by John Zachman.

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Are Enterprise and Business Architects the new Borgs?

Are Enterprise and Business Architects the new Borgs?

It was a fun idea to write this article a couple of years ago. But, then the realities of the thought started to become problematic. After a while the reported EA problems with generating business outcomes became tedious to listen to and trying react to. So I decided to move on, with a new product development and a Pivot, the Interweaving practice. But, here is a short version of the article.

Why a Borg analogy? Why reflect on ones own profession using fictional, fun and not so serious glasses? Can an analogy give some insights that are valuable to product development? The answer to the last question is Yes.

The Enterprise Architecture (EA) practice(s) has been going through great turmoil the last 10 year or so. EA works well inside IS/IT and engineering but experience significant problems when trying to escape its IS/IT roots and tradition. Initial customer interests are reported to be turned into rejection and then EA efforts are moved back into IS/IT again.

For those of you that haven’t encountered the Borgs, they are a formidable alien race encountered in the Star Trek TV and Movies series a while ago. They come from technological and cybernetic origins and they traverse the universe to assimilate encountered races, their technology and knowledge. A Borg credo is “Resistance is futile” and their ultimate goal is to "achieving perfection”.

When looking at recent trends in EA / BA methods and frameworks one can easily observe the vast number of assimilated knowledge and know-how. Here we find…

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Are you an Architect?

So, you work with architectures, but do you have an architects personality? According to David M. Keirsey and other authors there exists an Architect temperament or personality. Take a look, and see if you fit the characteristics.

"An Architect is an Abstract Utilitarian and Rationalist:

Rationals are abstract and objective. Seeking mastery and self-control, they are concerned with their own knowledge and competence. Their greatest strength is strategy. They excel in any kind of logical investigation such as engineering, conceptualizing, theorizing, and coordinating. The two roles are as follows:

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The value of Architecting - The problems of finding the Unique Selling Point

What are Architecting and Enterprise Architecture bringing to an organisation that is essential, material, and value creating, that no other professions can deliver?

It is a subject that is current and most architects has spent time on it. In public forums such as LinkedIn one can find discussions such as "What are the various value propositions that EA offers to an enterprise?" covering the subject.

When browsing through various discussions one cannot help noticing a particular kind of architecting/architecture value statements. Here are two examples:

"Validate and prioritise new changes against current and future state needs. (improve investment decisions)."

"EA helps: Identify all of the elements necessary to achieve the vision and enterprise success."

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Is it that bad?

I stumbled on an article by Jason Bloomberg, in Forbes magazine, from 2014 with the title "Is Enterprise Architecture Completely Broken?"

Jason starts the article with a sad image of the life of enterprise architects.

Remember Milton, the red stapler guy from the movie Office Space? Useless to his company, he had been laid off years before, but due to an unexplained glitch, he was never informed and kept getting paid. So there’s Milton, showing up for work day after day, clueless about why he has nothing useful to do. Makes you wonder: are there any Miltons in your organization? Sadly, for some large enterprises, you need look no further than the Enterprise Architects.

Jason then continues...

The cost savings and responsiveness benefits that EA has purported to deliver have been few and far between. Stories of stalled or misdirected EA initiatives vastly outnumber bona fide examples of EA efforts leading to measurable business value.

and then with ..

In fact, just what an Enterprise Architect is actually supposed to do is curiously still up for debate, more than 25 years after EA’s invention.

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Interweaving & Architectural Thinking - as Intent

In this framing article, we visit Intention in order to explore the frame, scope (what is included, excluded) and scope of interweaving and architectural thinking (I&A).

It is often said that architects work ‘mainly’ with creating blueprints that contain an intended architecture. But is All that an interweaver or architect is concerned about intentional? The short answer to this question is No. The longer answer follows in a brief format.

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Framing the Essence of Interweaving and Architecting

In the search for the underlying meaning, essence of an idea and practice, it is often beneficial to visit and explore areas, topics, aspects, or subject fields that are known to be interweaved with the explored ideas, artefacts, and practices. In order to explore the frame, focus, scope (what is included, excluded) and scope, we visit intersecting, or overlapping, ways of thinking, theories, practices, etc. that are known to be relevant to the idea of architecture, the practices of interweaving and architecting). 

It it is worth mentioning that an underlying belief for the Framework of Interweaving and Architecting approach (FIA) is, that it is beneficial for inhabitants of an enterprise, organisation, etc. to look at their worlds through the lenses of the interweave and architecture. A lens that focus on the salient, fundamental,important, material, essential, or instrumental elements that interweave the strands of an organisation, enterprise, building, facility, system.

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Advancing the Interweaving and Architecture Discourse

Note: This article is an In-front-of-the-curtain article aimed at practitioners. For the scientifically inclined, Behind-the-curtain articles will be published on the website: <>.

In the interconnected, and a global world of today the ideas of the interweave and architecture provides ways of thinking, ways of doing, work products, and tools that address complications, complexity and the manifold of perspectives in human enterprises.

Interweaving and architecting provides unique means to untangle and interweave the complex multi-disciplinary and interconnected fabric of enterprises, organisations, communities, technical, and information systems. Where peoples identity, beings, doings, belonging and becoming, and fortunes relate to one another.

This article introduces general interweaving and architectural practices and approaches to the fields of interweaving and architectural discourse. As such it represents a continuation of the short series Ways of Interweaving and Architecting that aimed at exploring different ways to interweave and architect. This work is alive, and a work in progress since an interweaving and architectural practice without dynamics quickly becomes rigid and obsolete.

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Ways of Architecting #7 - Who is architecting?

This seventh article is continuation of the series that address "Ways of Architecting".

The new aspect introduced here provide additional characterisation of architecting by focusing on who performs architecting.

Architecting can be performed in many ways, some ways are recommended by professional enterprise architecture associations, some has evolved through practices, and some exists outside the profession. A strong tradition from the IT, engineering origin of Enterprise Architecture is that a professional organisational unit, or function is responsible for architecting. However looking outside the IT/engineering departments, in the wider enterprise and its organisational units, architects are not commonly found. Instead architecting can be considered as being performed by professionals (CxO, strategist, analysts, organisation designers, managers, etc.) that co-create fundamentals (important, essential enabler, material)elements of the enterprise, make material decisions, and use the same techniques, models as architects. This often unknowingly of that what they do can be called architecting.

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Ways of Architecting - Belief System, Theory, Method, Technique

This sixth article is continuation of the series that dives into "Ways of Architecting".

The new aspects introduced here provide additional characterisation of architecting by focusing on elements of ways of addressing, thinking about architecture, and ways of working with architectures.

A specific approach to architecture and architecting may involve specific assumptions about the real world and architectures, belief systems, theories, principles, and architecting techniques, methods. These may significantly determine characteristics  and qualities of actual architectures, as well peoples perceptions and conceptions of architectures. 

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Ways of Architecting - Scope, Type, Kind, Naming

​This fifth article is continuation of the series that dives into "Ways of Architecting". The new aspects introduced here provide additional characterisation of architecting by pointing to the importance of the object of architecting and what types and kinds of architecture that are relevant to architecting efforts. At the end I include an ide...
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Ways of Architecting - Architecting styles in history

From the world of Building architecture, we find the following Timeline of architectural styles.

The next articles covers different architecture styles in history.



Ways of Architecting - Tradition, Style, Taste, and Fashion

This third article is continuation of series that dives into "Ways of Architecting" Series. 

The new aspects presented here are tradition, customs, style, taste, and fashion. These important aspects of contemporary architecting are worth considering by organisations applying architecting practices, architects themselves, and scholars. Knowing where the discipline comes from is always valuable, especially in the fast paced and interconnected era of Internet. The ideas of tradition, custom, styles, taste, and fashion promise to enrich the understanding of any particular variant of architecting or architecture, their current impact, future possibilities, and challenges. At the end of the article I am outlining a set of characteristic of a tradition that has evolved in the field of enterprise architecting - Traditional EA.

For the purpose of this series of articles, and not to dwell in details, the definitions of terms are common sense oriented and not formally defined.

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Ways of Architecting - Reflection

The nature of Ways of Interweaving and Architecting can be explored through an interesting thought experiment, involving a reflective question. The answer(s) to this question often provide a good indication on the approach you are likely to prefer, use, and/or advocate.

"What do you believe is the most important feature of interweaving or  architecting?"

a) form and give space to peoples decision making? b) identify and describe capabilities of an enterprise, and use these descriptions to design, build, and run them?

More reflective insights may be gained by answering a followup questions:

"Do you work with architecting in the spirit of the answer(s) to the first question?" or "Do you practice what you think and preach?"

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Ways of Architecting - startup

The discipline of Enterprise Architecture is a young way of addressing the manyfold of enterprise concerns compared to older structured disciplines such as building architecture, strategy development, and organizational design. The youth is slowly being transformed into maturity in some areas but into turmoil in others.

This, and the next articles aim at introducing a techniques that can be used to analyse the way people and organisations see and practice interweaving and architecting. This in order to better evaluate how the ideas behind interweaving and architecting can be beneficially applied within an enterprise. Using this technique enables a clearer understanding of where people, and organisation comes from when they advocate a certain way of addressing architecture and architecting.

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Interweaving & Architectural Thinking - Use of methods

In this article I address the central question … 

"What makes architecting unique, valuable and ensures a place in an organisation?"

… from the point of use of methods and tools.

The first topic to address is the use of methods and tools.

An observation can be made that a considerable number of (Enterprise) Architecture ways of working are based on well-defined frameworks, methodologies, meta-models, viewpoints, principles, information models, and processes. In most cases these are predefined and it is recommended to follow the methods and techniques (or make an organisation specific configuration) to produce a set of well-, and predefined work products. This pattern of framework building and use is strong for traditional (enterprise) architectures and the following question becomes interesting.

"Is architecting founded on the use as specific set of methods, techniques, in a specific sequence, and on predefined guidance?" 

The short answer to this question is No. The longer answer follows in a brief format.

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