On Complexity and Enterprise Architecture
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On Complexity and Enterprise Architecture

Making sense of architecture complexities

About the Book

This anthology from the Tetradian weblog explores the various forms of complexity that arise in enterprise architecture, and how to work with them.

This book includes about 40 posts and 95 images from the weblog. These posts are split into four groups:

  • Complexity: Complexity and Chaos - explores core concepts around complexity in business and beyond.
  • Complexity: Complexity and Sensemaking - shows how make sense of complexity in architectures.
  • Complexity: Complexity and Method - introduces methods and practices to tackle complexity.
  • Complexity: Complexity and SCAN - illustrates how to use the SCAN frame to map out, make sense of and take action on complexity.
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    • Business Architecture
    • Enterprise Architecture
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About the Author

Tom Graves
Tom Graves

Tom Graves has been an independent consultant for more than four decades, in business transformation, enterprise architecture and knowledge management. His clients in Europe, Australasia and the Americas cover a broad range of industries including small-business, banking, utilities, manufacturing, logistics, engineering, media, telecoms, research, defence and government. He has a special interest in whole-enterprise architectures for non-profit, social, government and commercial enterprises.

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Table of Contents

  • Order, unorder and effectiveness
  • On chaos in enterprise-architecture
  • Control, complexity and chaos
  • Control, complex, chaotic
  • Obliquity, serendipity and purpose
  • Uniqueness and serendipity in enterprise-architecture
  • Uniqueness and coincidensity
  • Requisite-variety and stormy weather
  • Requisite-fuzziness
  • Rules, principles and the Inverse-Einstein Test
  • Complex, complicated, and Einstein’s dice
  • Enterprise-architecture is wicked
    • Tame-problems and wicked-problems
    • Designing for wickedness
  • Not so wicked
  • Sensemaking and the flocking of Boyds
  • Sense, make-sense, decide, act
  • Sensemaking – modes and disciplines
    • Four modes and seven sins
    • Emphasis and tactics within each mode
  • Sensemaking: Into the void
  • Making sense in disruption
  • Against fragmentation
  • Down the rabbit-hole with ‘evidence-based’
  • Viable System Model and Group Dynamics cycle
  • Mapping architectures to the Viable System Model
  • Which complexity?
  • Same and different
  • On mass-uniqueness
  • When identical is not the same as equal
  • Checklists and complexity
    • Plain sailing in stormy weather
    • Shaping a checklist
    • Implications for enterprise-architecture
  • The fourth checklist
  • Causal Layered Analysis, SCCC, and Cynefin
    • On Causal Layered Analysis
    • Context-space mapping with domains of Causal Layered Analysis
    • Causal Layered Analysis, time-compression and social stress
    • A practical summary
  • Sinan Si Alhir on antifragility
  • Fractality in Five Elements method
  • Documenting the Not-known
  • Dotting the joins (the JEA version)
    • Dotting the joins: the adverse effects of specialization
    • Joining the dots
  • “Let’s do a quick SCAN on this”
  • Using SCAN: some quick examples
    • Requirements definition
    • EA reference-framework
  • A simpler SCAN
    • Between sameness and uniqueness
    • From plan to action
    • Summary
  • Problem-space, solution-space and SCAN
  • Two SCAN notes - 1: Edges
    • Overview
    • Edge of action (Simple :: Complicated)
    • Edge of uncertainty (Complicated :: Ambiguous)
    • Edge of innovation (Ambiguous :: Not-known)
    • Edge of panic (Simple :: Not-known)
    • Linking it all together
  • Two SCAN notes - 2: Causal Layered Analysis
  • Quick SCAN examples
    • #1: ‘SCAN in two minutes’
    • #2a: The toddler’s tantrum (N>A>C>S>N)
    • #2b: The scientist’s story (N>A>C>S (>N))
    • #3a: The trainee’s tale ((N>) S>C>A>N)
    • #3b: The quality-manager’s quest (S>C>A>N)
    • #4: The surgeon’s story

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