Master Interweaving

Business Transformations through a structured integration and alignment of Strategy with Operations.
2 minutes reading time (455 words)

Introducing Live Architecture

Before we give some examples of liveness, it is beneficial to explore what is secondary to live architectures. The liveness quality does not mean that architects collect all available information in an enterprise, organisation, or community because some information is interesting, i.e. It is not a question of:

  • Enterprise Knowledge Management, 
  • Information Management, 
  • Business Intelligence, or 
  • Storing architecture information in a repository, 

Architecture representations are although part of Enterprise Knowledge Management. However, employing several librarians (or architects) to maintain repositories has been found to be largely not cost-effective.

So, what is it?

In FIA an architecture and its parts are tightly Interweaved with people and work they do with others. Here architectural elements are relevant, material to decision making, acceptable and usable by people, and essential or fundamental. This means that key parts of an architecture are visible to ordinary people (other than architects) in their daily life, and not embedded in models behind abstract concepts and boxes.

Where can you find it?

For building architectures the answer is easy. Most parts of an architecture can be found by looking at the buildings, visit them or live in them. For enterprise wide architectures the answer requires a little more thought but here a some examples:

  • Life cycles forms can be found in case management processes.
  • Feedback loops are found in learning arrangements such as ‘BA’s, lessons learned activities and in monitoring tasks such as in strategy execution.
  • Process elements can be found in formal job, positions, or work descriptions. A 6-level process architecture is however not likely to be found in real life.
  • Actual business vocabularies can be found in actual documents and their glossary and acronym sections.
  • Goal, objectives can be found in balanced scorecards, or in performance review documents. When goals, objective structures are copied into architecture software than they are likely to become reinterpreted and obsolete after a while unless time and resources are spent to keep them aligned.
  • etc., etc.

Why should I be interested in Live Architectures?

The elements of a live architecture does not collect dust in a cabinet, they are alive and material even if an architect is not there to inform, explain or maintain.

A live architecture is always relevant and updated, as opposed to architecture knowledge embedded in architects head or architecture models that are created in time constrained projects. What often happens is that architectural models becomes obsolete, quickly after a project ends since many (or most)  enterprise architecting efforts lack continuity.

The cost of collecting and maintaining actual live architecture information is less than having to employ architects that clean, reinterpret enter it into, and maintain architecture models.

More on Live Architectures is planned for later by the the creator of the Live Architecture concept and practice - Anders W. Tell.


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