The enterprise is the story

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'The enterprise is the story: a narrative approach to enterprise architecture' - presentation at Integrated EA conference, London, 6-7 March 2012

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  • Tom, intriguing. I think it works because the core concept is strong - structure vs. story. EA models feel insufficient at really explaining the business and this idea crystallises that with a good analogy. Whether it is right or not I can't tell yet - I want to try these ideas out on a few of my more thoughtful colleagues first.
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  • If anyone's interested, this presentation was in part as the launch for my new book 'The enterprise as story: the role of narrative in enterprise-architecture'.

    The ebook edition is on Leanpub at:
    http://leanpub.com/tb-estory

    You can also download contents and sample-chapters from there.

    Many thanks to everyone who's viewed this presentation - much appreciated!
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  • @Joel, @Sami - many thanks indeed!

    (Will admit I've been almost shocked at the response this slidedeck has received - I'm very pleased, yet also kinda wondering what I did right this time...? :-) )
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  • Inspirant!
    Thank you :)
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  • Connecting Enterprise (Story) with Architecture (Structure): Nice and well done!
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The enterprise is the story

  1. the futures of businessThe enterprise is a storya narrative approach to enterprise-architecture Tom Graves, Tetradian Consulting Integrated EA Conference, London, March 2012
  2. “What’s the story?”“What’s the story?”
  3. (a favourite book)
  4. “Two points of view on architecture”• Architecture is responsible to universal knowledge A proper building is an exercise in truth and is wholly honest in the expression of its functions and materials• Architecturevehicle for the telling in stories, Architecture is a is an exercise narrative of a canvas for relaying societal myths, a stage for the theatre of everyday life Chapter 84, in Matthew Frederick, 101 Things I Learned In Architecture School, MIT Press, 2007
  5. Another way to view this...• Architecture is responsible to universal knowledge A proper building is an exercise in truth - architecture is about structure and is wholly honest in the expression of its functions and materials• Architecturevehicle for the telling in stories, Architecture is a is an exercise narrative of - architecture is about story a canvas for relaying societal myths, a stage for the theatre of everyday life
  6. Current EA emphasises structure...So, here’s a structure...
  7. The Sambadromo, in Rio de Janeiro... CC-BY Avodrocc via Flickr
  8. Which, on its own,doesn’t really tell us anything...That’s the problem with structure.To make sense of a structure,we need the story... CC-BY Avodrocc via Flickr
  9. ...in this case, the story of Carnaval. CC-BY Boban021 via Flickr
  10. For this city, a huge shared-story... CC-BY sfmission via Flickr
  11. Full of colour, sound, spectacle... CC-BY sfmission via Flickr
  12. ...and occasional extremes... CC-BY sfmission via Flickr
  13. But it’s more aboutexuberance,and pride... CC-BY sfmission via Flickr
  14. The young(er)... CC-BY sfmission via Flickr
  15. The old(er)... CC-BY sfmission via Flickr
  16. The whole community... CC-BY sfmission via Flickr
  17. And if a line-up like this... CC-BY sfmission via Flickr
  18. Might remind you of this... CC-BY bobaliciouslondon via Flickr
  19. ...do remember to keep track of the story? CC-BY sfmission via Flickr
  20. Yet when the party’s over,and it’s time to head home... CC-BY sfmission via Flickr
  21. Someone must be there to clean up...- because that’s part of the story too. CC-BY otubo via Flickr
  22. Process, assets, data, locations....- all the usual structure-stuff......all those necessary details of organisation. CC-BY jorgeBRAZIL via Flickr
  23. Organisation focusses on structure CC-BY Avodrocc via Flickr
  24. yet the enterprise is the story. CC-BY Boban021 via Flickr
  25. The structure happens because of the story.
  26. Structures may be re-used for other stories, but the structure itself is not the story.
  27. A key task of enterprise-architectureis to rememberand design for that fact,maintaining the balancebetween structure and story.Architecture is about structure.Architecture is also about story.We need both, to make it all happen. CC-BY SheilaTostes via Flickr
  28. “What’s the story?”“A cast of thousands!”
  29. Whose architecture?Some of the ‘cast’ - stakeholders - in the Carnaval story.
  30. Whose architecture? “An architecture describes structure to support a shared-story.” Tom Graves, The Enterprise As Story, Tetradian, 2012Organisation aligns with structure, enterprise with story.We need a balance of both for the architecture to work.
  31. Whose architecture? “We create an architecture for an organisation, but about an enterprise.” Tom Graves, Mapping the Enterprise, Tetradian, 2010Organisation aligns with structure, enterprise with story.We need a balance of both for the architecture to work.
  32. Whose architecture? “An organisation is bounded by rules, roles and responsibilities; an enterprise is bounded by vision, values and commitments.” Tom Graves, Mapping the Enterprise, Tetradian, 2010Organisation aligns with structure, enterprise with story.We need a balance of both for the architecture to work.
  33. Whose architecture? A useful guideline: “The enterprise in scope should be three steps largerthan the organisation in scope.” Tom Graves, Mapping the Enterprise, Tetradian, 2010
  34. Whose story? If the organisation says it ‘is’ the enterprise,there’s no shared-story - and often, no story at all.
  35. Whose story?The minimum real enterprise is the supply-chain - a story of shared transactions.
  36. Whose story? The organisation and enterprise of the supply-chaintake place within a broader organisation of the market.
  37. Whose story?The market itself exists within a context of ‘intangible’interactions with the broader shared-enterprise story.
  38. Whose story? “Customers do not appear in our processes... ...we appear in their experiences.” Chris Potts, recrEAtion, Technics, 2010We must create the architecture around the shared-story - not solely around our organisation’s structures.
  39. Whose enterprise?All of these are stakeholders in the enterprise of Carnaval.
  40. Whose enterprise?• We choose to align with an enterprise• We do not possesses us...) enterprise (if anything, it possess that• We have our own business-values, but those values must uphold the enterprise-values• Note: valuesaare not necessarily monetary (for Carnaval, monetary focus may destroy enterprise-values of pride and community)
  41. Whose enterprise?Stakeholders and their respective business-drivers.
  42. Whose enterprise?• Each player is in relation with all other players (relation may be indirect, but always exists)• Players whose values align most closely with the enterprise-values should take the lead• Grey-economy is parasitic to Carnaval• Anti-clients may share overall vision (but disagree with us on how it should be achieved)
  43. “What’s the story?”“The plot thickens...”
  44. Plot and process“Process is the use of structure (the organisation view) Plot is the unfolding of story (the enterprise view)” Tom Graves, The Enterprise As Story, Tetradian, 2012
  45. Process as story “Each traverse through a business-process is a self-contained storywith its own actors, actions and events” Tom Graves, The Enterprise As Story, Tetradian, 2012
  46. The story-cycle (Start here)(adapted from classic Group Dynamics project-lifecycle and VPEC-T framework)
  47. Where’s the story? Tom Graves, The Enterprise As Story, Tetradian, 2012
  48. process-volume... CC-BY AllBrazilian via Wikimedia
  49. capability-development...
  50. business-scenario... CC-BY jorgeBRAZIL via Flickr
  51. use-case... CC-BY ~ggvic~ via Flickr
  52. resource-management... CC-BY fairfaxcounty via Flickr
  53. exchange-protocol... CC-BY quaziefoto via Flickr
  54. transaction... CC-BY Jack Zalium via Flickr
  55. governance... CC-BY Alicia Nijdam via Flickr
  56. system-overload... CC-BY-SA adriagarcia via Flickr
  57. standards... and risks... CC-BY rodrigofranca via Flickr
  58. customer-experience... CC-BY jorgeBRAZIL via Flickr
  59. ...customer-journey? CC-BY elbragon via Flickr
  60. And remember... “Customers do not appear in our processes... ...we appear in their stories.” paraphrase from Chris Potts, recrEAtion, Technics, 2010Our organisation acts within the scope of the enterprise:think broader-enterprise first - outside-in, not inside-out.
  61. “What’s the story?”“To be continued...”
  62. Four types of stories• Single-shot: enterprise delimited by one project with a clear ‘character-arc’ or change• Sequel: re-uses a previous enterprise, but often without any new character-arc• Series: different stories within the same ‘world’ bounded by the enterprise• Serial: continuing stories within a ‘world’(Most enterprise-stories work best as series or serial.)
  63. The strategy-cycle (overall cycle and relationships need to be kept in balance)
  64. The market-cycle boundary of ‘market’ in conventional business-models• (transactions depend on (reaffirmed) reputation and trust)
  65. The story-cycle(Start here)
  66. ‘Quick-money’ failure-cycle (incomplete short-cut after transaction-profit slowly erodes trust / respect, breaks continuity of market-cycle)
  67. “What’s the story?”“Every picture tells a story”
  68. Most current EA toolsetsare for design of static structures... CC-BY Avodrocc via Flickr
  69. ...we also need our tools to support the story. CC-BY Boban021 via Flickr
  70. Supporting the story “A challenge to vendors of EA toolsets: we need stronger support for story within our EA tools:images, audio, video and more.” Tom Graves, The Enterprise As Story, Tetradian, 2012
  71. Often excellent on structure...
  72. ...but where’s the story?
  73. From structure to story (Published variants of Business Model Canvas) Alex Osterwalder / Alan Smith and others (cc) 2012
  74. From structure to story (Published variants of Business Model Canvas) Alex Osterwalder / Alan Smith and others (cc) 2012
  75. From structure to story (Published variants of Business Model Canvas) Alex Osterwalder / Alan Smith and others (cc) 2012
  76. From structure to story“Business Model Canvas In 2 Minutes” (YouTube: http://youtu.be/QoAOzMTLP5s ) Alex Osterwalder / Alan Smith / businessmodeltv and others (cc) 2012
  77. Wherever we are in architecture,wherever we see structure,we also need to be able to describe... “What’s the story?” CC-BY SheilaTostes via Flickr
  78. “What’s the story?” “What’s the story story?”for your enterprise?”
  79. Further information:Contact: Tom GravesCompany: Tetradian ConsultingEmail: tom@tetradian.comTwitter: @tetradian ( http://twitter.com/tetradian )Weblog: http://weblog.tetradian.comSlidedecks: http://www.slideshare.net/tetradianPublications: http://tetradianbooks.comBooks: • The enterprise as story: the role of narrative in enterprise-architecture (2012) • Mapping the enterprise: modelling the enterprise as services with the Enterprise Canvas (2010) • Everyday enterprise-architecture: sensemaking, strategy, structures and solutions (2010) • Doing enterprise-architecture: process and practice in the real enterprise (2009)

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