SCAN framework cover page

SCAN framework

SCAN framework

The Tetradian weblogs

SCAN framework Edit


About the Book

“Let’s do a quick SCAN on this.”

SCAN is a simple yet powerful framework for sensemaking and decision-making, and, recursively, for assessment and review of processes and results of sensemaking and decision-making. It was initially designed for enterprise-architecture and other business needs, but will also be useful in many other areas.

In essence, SCAN is a form of context-space mapping -- a means by which we make sense of a context, and work towards resolving our requirements in that context, by bouncing back and forth between the 'problem-space' and 'solution-space' in a disciplined way.

This ebook is an edited collection of articles from the Tetradian weblog (, on the SCAN framework. This edition includes all weblog-posts on SCAN up to January 2014; there'll be new editions of this ebook from time to time, to incorporate later posts and practical experience.

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • “Let’s do a quick SCAN on this”
  • Comparing SCAN and Cynefin
  • SCAN – an Ambiguous correction
  • Using SCAN: some quick examples
  • On SCAN, PDCA, OODA and the acronym-soup
  • Ensuring that the Simple stays simple
  • SCAN left, SCAN right…
  • Domains and dimensions in SCAN
  • On sensemaking in enterprise-architectures (1)
  • On sensemaking in enterprise-architectures (2)
  • On sensemaking in enterprise-architectures (3)
  • On sensemaking in enterprise-architecture (4)
  • Real-time sensemaking with SCAN
  • Belief and faith at the point of action
  • Decision-making – belief, fact, theory and practice
  • Decision-making – linking intent and action (1)
  • Decision-making – linking intent and action (2)
  • Decision-making – linking intent and action (3)
  • Decision-making – linking intent and action (4)
  • Using recursion in sensemaking
  • Competence, non-competence and incompetence
  • Requisite-variety and stormy weather
  • Rules, principles and the Inverse-Einstein Test
  • Rules, principles, belief and faith
  • Checklists and complexity
  • Complex, complicated, and Einstein’s dice
  • Order, unorder and effectiveness
  • Sensemaking and the swamp-metaphor
  • Sensemaking – modes and disciplines
  • Enterprise-architecture is wicked
  • Unbreaking
  • More keywords for SCAN
  • A simpler SCAN
  • SCAN as ‘decision-dartboard’
  • SCAN - some recent notes
  • Problem-space, solution-space and SCAN
  • Knowable and discoverable
  • SCANning the toaster
  • On metaframeworks in enterprise-architecture
  • Metaframeworks in practice, Part 4: Context-space mapping and SCAN
  • Methods, mechanics, approaches
  • SCAN and Causal Layered Analysis
  • Co-inspiring in the Chaotic domain
  • Obliquity, serendipity and purpose
  • Working with ‘I don’t know’
  • Control, complexity and chaos
  • Control, complex, chaotic
  • Between the boxes
  • On human ‘applications’ in EA models
  • Principles and checklists
  • Best practices – adapt, then adopt
  • Reframing entropy in business
  • More on reframing entropy in business
  • The over-certainties of certification
  • The craft of knowledge-work, the role of theory and the challenge of scale
  • The science of enterprise-architecture
  • Scalability and uniqueness
  • Can complex-systems be ‘architected’?
  • Avoiding delusions of strategy
  • Efficient versus effective
  • Four principles – 1: There are no rules
  • Four principles – 4: Adaptability is everything
  • Four principles for a sane society: Summary
  • Four principles for a sane society: an addendum
  • A kind of manifesto

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