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Exploring business-architecture

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How do we explore the context for a business-architecture? Short-answer: raid the kids' toy-box!

This slidedeck provides a practical overview of how to explore and identify service-context or business-context, whilst developing a business-architecture. The key theme here is that it's easier to engage people in architecture-development if we make it both fun and thought-provoking, in an immediate, tangible way. As shown in the slidedeck, tools to do this include a wooden train-set and a Victorian toy-theatre - cheap, easily-obtainable and directly practical. Share And Enjoy!

Slidedeck for presentation at IASA-ITARC conference, London, 25 November 2016 - http://iasaglobal.org/itarc-london/

(Note: This is a big slidedeck - almost 75Mb. It'll take some time to download. But worth it, I trust!)

Published in: Business
  • (Note: I also used this slidedeck for the IASA 24hr eSummit on 25 May 2017. For that session, I changed the intro-slides (different event-identifier and different photo) and removed two slides at the end (not needed because there was no in-person practical), but otherwise it was the same content as shown here.)
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Exploring business-architecture

  1. 1. Exploring business-architecture Tom Graves, Tetradian Consulting IASA ITARC, London, November 2016
  2. 2. No thanks… Endless PR intro-slides…? so let’s do the intro another way…
  3. 3. Hi. (Yeah, it’s been a while since I looked like this...) I’m Tom.
  4. 4. …enough of an intro? Okay, let’s get on with the show!
  5. 5. what’s that…? Business-architecture?
  6. 6. - b-o-o-o-r-ing… It’s the architecture of ‘stuff what business does’
  7. 7. …yawn…
  8. 8. …“can I go to sleep now, please?”…
  9. 9. Nah, c’mon, let’s have a bit of fun with this!
  10. 10. …though before that, we are gonna have to be just a little bit boring… (sorry…)
  11. 11. Meet this guy… (He’s named Charles Hoy Fort.) (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Fort for more about him)
  12. 12. …famed for collecting records and facts about the anomalous and the weird… …such as rains of fishes and frogs…
  13. 13. “Whatever theory you have, there’ll always be something that doesn’t fit” and as a journalist and researcher, his basic principle was… - sounds kinda familiar, maybe?
  14. 14. What name in your system? Typical UK-style name-structure for database: •Title (mandatory: select from picklist) •Forename (mandatory: 30 characters max) •Middle-name (optional: 30 characters max) •Surname (mandatory: 30 characters max) •Suffix (optional: select from picklist) Easy, right? – well, let’s take a real example…
  15. 15. What name in your system? UK-style name: •Mr Pablo Diego Ruiz
  16. 16. What name in your system? UK-style name: •Mr Pablo Diego Ruiz Full legal birth-name: •Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso
  17. 17. What name in your system? UK-style name: •Mr Pablo Diego Ruiz Full legal birth-name: •Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso You probably know him as:
  18. 18. …oops… Okay, how’s about we try something simpler? Driver’s licence, maybe?
  19. 19. Driver’s licence, please? Real simple, right? Hmm… maybe not so simple after all? The same for everyone, surely? Hensel twins’ driver-licences >>
  20. 20. Driver’s licence, please? On the flight: One ticket, one seat, two passengers, two passports In the car: Two drivers behind the wheel, each legally liable
  21. 21. …which kinda messes up our nice so-certain system-design… - rats…
  22. 22. “Whatever theory you have, there’ll always be something that doesn’t fit”
  23. 23. So how do we find these ‘things that don’t fit’? - and how do we design for them, too…
  24. 24. Short answer: Raid the kids’ toy-box!
  25. 25. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Viga-Wooden-Train-Set-49-Piece/dp/B00486QD0S/
  26. 26. Toy-train as service-metaphor…
  27. 27. …who or what are the various uses / users of the service?
  28. 28. …how do those uses intersect?
  29. 29. …how might those uses conflict?
  30. 30. …what decisions need to be made?
  31. 31. …what scheduling / prioritisation do you need?
  32. 32. …what infrastructure tolerances do you need?
  33. 33. …how does it interconnect with other services?
  34. 34. …what disruptions could careless users cause?
  35. 35. …what disruptions could the service cause for others?
  36. 36. …how, where, with what must it intersect without connecting?
  37. 37. …how might others impact your infrastructure?
  38. 38. …what impacts could that have on service-delivery?
  39. 39. …what are the hazards, potential sources of disruption?
  40. 40. …what happens when external risks eventuate?
  41. 41. …what happens when the service itself fails?
  42. 42. …what disruptions could failures cause?
  43. 43. …or, in other words…
  44. 44. …context, context, context!
  45. 45. But where does context come from? - and why does anything happen? (in business, anyway…)
  46. 46. A tension exists between what is, and what we want. The vision describes the desired-ends for action; values guide action, describing how success would feel. Why anything happens
  47. 47. A service represents a means toward an end – ultimately, the desired-ends of the enterprise-vision. The nature of service
  48. 48. Services exchange value with each other, to help each service reach toward their respective vision and outcome. Relations between services
  49. 49. “We create an architecture for an organisation, but about an enterprise.” “We create an architecture for an organisation, but about an enterprise.” Tom Graves, Mapping the Enterprise, Tetradian, 2010 Why architecture? Organisation aligns with structure, enterprise with story. We need a balance of both for the architecture to work.
  50. 50. “An organisation is bounded by rules, roles and responsibilities; an enterprise is bounded by vision, values and commitments.” “An organisation is bounded by rules, roles and responsibilities; an enterprise is bounded by vision, values and commitments.” Tom Graves, Mapping the Enterprise, Tetradian, 2010 What architecture? Organisation aligns with structure, enterprise with story. We need a balance of both for the architecture to work.
  51. 51. If the organisation says it ‘is’ the enterprise, there’s no shared-story - and often, no story at all. Whose story?
  52. 52. The minimum real enterprise is the supply-chain - a story of shared interactions and transactions. Whose story?
  53. 53. The organisation and enterprise of the supply-chain take place within a broader organisation of the market. Whose story?
  54. 54. The market itself exists within a context of ‘intangible’ interactions with the broader shared-enterprise story. Whose story?
  55. 55. The story is not solely at the whole-of-business level - we can generalise it to any type or level of context Whose story?
  56. 56. Stories within stories…
  57. 57. enacted in any way we need…
  58. 58. Services link together in chains or webs, as structured and/or unstructured processes, to deliver more complex and versatile services or stories Supply-chain or value-web
  59. 59. …which brings us to… a matter of perspective! - yeah, which way we look at things does kinda matter here…
  60. 60. Perspectives and journeys Service-delivery is a journey of interactions where ‘inside-out’ (the organisation’s perspective) touches ‘outside-in’ (the customer’s / supplier’s perspective)
  61. 61. Outside-in… CC-BY Fretro via Flickr “Customers do not appear in our processes, we appear in their experiences” Chris Potts, recrEAtion, Technics, 2010
  62. 62. Every service has its own myriad of stakeholders Whose story?
  63. 63. A stakeholder is anyone who can wield a sharp-pointed stake in our direction… CC-BY-NC-SA evilpeacock via Flickr Who are the stakeholders? (Hint: there are a lot more of them than we might at first think…)
  64. 64. Narrative and story help us to identify what needs to happen - including the exceptions and uniquenesses… The role of narrative:
  65. 65. Alan Klement: Replacing ‘User-Story’ with ‘Job-Story’ Structuring a story-fragment… http://alanklement.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/replacing-user-story-with-job-story.html
  66. 66. What kind of story? SCRIPTED (simple rules and checklists) CC-BY The-Vikkodamus via Flickr CC-BY-SA seeminglee via Flickr IMPROVISED (guidelines and principles) ANALYSED (complicated algorithms) ADAPTED (complex patterns) PREDICTABLE UNPREDICTABLE
  67. 67. “All the world’s a stage”… Stories underpin every action…
  68. 68. Stories are fractal… …recursion and fractality within systems and stories CC-BY-NC-SA gjshepherd via Flickr
  69. 69. Stories within stories, everywhere…
  70. 70. …will User-Story or Job-Story be enough for all of this? Short-answer: useful, no doubt, but probably not enough on their own - we’re going to need a broader approach…
  71. 71. Technology CC-BY-SA xdxd_vs_xdxd via Flickr Process People The usual architecture view
  72. 72. Stage CC-BY-SA xdxd_vs_xdxd via Flickr Scene Actor ActorStage Stage Stage A narrative-oriented view Scene Scene Stage
  73. 73. So how to explore all this with execs and others?
  74. 74. Short answer: Back to the toy-box!
  75. 75. http://www.pollocks-coventgarden.co.uk/index.php/pantomime-theatre-with-cinderella.html
  76. 76. “and here’s one I made earlier…”
  77. 77. http://www.pollocks-coventgarden.co.uk/index.php/pantomime-theatre-with-cinderella.html
  78. 78. …the architect as hero?
  79. 79. Let’s use a visual cheat-sheet to help us… - you could call it a Canvas, if you like…
  80. 80. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Tetradian www.tetradian.com Project By Date VersionNOTES-H theatre-context theatre management stage / setting front-of-stage backstage audience scene actor / agent
  81. 81. NOTES-H ? - what the heck’s that? “Narrative Oriented Transformation of Enterprise Services - Holomap version” - yeah, it’s kinda cumbersome, I know… - but it’s just a name, don’t worry about it, okay?
  82. 82. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Tetradian www.tetradian.com Project By Date VersionNOTES-H theatre-context theatre management stage / setting front-of-stage backstage audience scene actor / agent
  83. 83. …who are the actors?
  84. 84. …who are the actors? – everyone! CC-BY Mike Babcock via Flickr
  85. 85. Machines may be actors (agents)… CC-BY-SA MysteryBee via Flickr
  86. 86. …though remember, your users… CC-BY justin pickard via Flickr
  87. 87. …are people, not machines! CC-BY andré luís via Flickr
  88. 88. …and also, why these actors?
  89. 89. …what changes if we change actor?
  90. 90. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Tetradian www.tetradian.com Project By Date VersionNOTES-H theatre-context theatre management stage / setting front-of-stage backstage audience scene actor / agent / extras
  91. 91. Extras are kind of ‘active scenery’… - they’re not part of the story as such, but the scene won’t work well without them…
  92. 92. …scene without extras…
  93. 93. …what do extras add to the scene?
  94. 94. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Tetradian www.tetradian.com Project By Date VersionNOTES-H theatre-context theatre management stage / setting front-of-stage backstage audience scene actor / agent
  95. 95. “Each traverse through a business-process is a self-contained story with its own actors, actions and events” “Each traverse through a business-process is a self-contained story with its own actors, actions and events” Process as story Tom Graves, The Enterprise As Story, Tetradian, 2012
  96. 96. Each segment of a story is a scene… - each scene should have a distinct begin, middle, end and outcome…
  97. 97. …what’s the story in the scene?
  98. 98. Scenes in the story Split story into identifiable scenes, with begin, middle, end CC-BY TheArches via Flickr
  99. 99. Scenes in the story Process-story as identifiable scenes, with begin, middle, end
  100. 100. Show, don’t tell Each line of action drives the story forward CC-BY TheArches via Flickr
  101. 101. Show, don’t tell Each line of action drives the story forward CC-BY-ND Kecko via Flickr
  102. 102. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Tetradian www.tetradian.com Project By Date VersionNOTES-H theatre-context theatre management stage / setting front-of-stage backstage audience scene / props actor / agent
  103. 103. …what props do we need?
  104. 104. The role of props Each item has its place, and drives the story onward CC-BY TheArches via Flickr
  105. 105. Each item has its place, and drives the story onward CC-BY-ND Kecko via Flickr The role of props
  106. 106. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Tetradian www.tetradian.com Project By Date VersionNOTES-H theatre-context theatre management stage / setting front-of-stage backstage audience scene actor / agent
  107. 107. …what difference with scenery?
  108. 108. …what difference with scenery?
  109. 109. …what difference with lighting?
  110. 110. Staging the story CC-BY-SA passer-by via Flickr …infrastructure, systems etc as the stage
  111. 111. Staging the story …infrastructure, systems etc as the stage CC-BY-ND Costa Rica’s Call Center via Flickr
  112. 112. Setting the mood …how does the stage-set itself drive the story forward? CC-BY-SA Eva Rinaldi via Flickr
  113. 113. Setting the mood …how does the stage-set itself drive the story forward? CC-BY State Farm via Flickr
  114. 114. Maintain the mood Computers may not have feelings, but people do: how does the stage-set support the mood we need? CC-BY-ND alanclarkdesign via Flickr
  115. 115. Maintain the mood Computers may not have feelings, but people do: how does the stage-set support the mood we need? CC-BY-ND alanclarkdesign via Flickr
  116. 116. Framing the action CC-BY Vlima.com via Flickr …in what ways does the frame itself constrain the story?
  117. 117. Framing the action …in what ways does the frame itself constrain the story? CC-BY aleutia via Flickr
  118. 118. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Tetradian www.tetradian.com Project By Date VersionNOTES-H theatre-context theatre management stage / setting front-of-stage backstage audience scene actor / agent
  119. 119. …what music should play?
  120. 120. Visible and invisible …what else should be in front of the curtain? – what behind? CC-BY Mickey Thurman via Flickr
  121. 121. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Tetradian www.tetradian.com Project By Date VersionNOTES-H theatre-context theatre management stage / setting front-of-stage backstage audience scene actor / agent
  122. 122. Visible and invisible …what state is that infrastructure in, behind the curtain? CC-BY Princess Theatre via Flickr
  123. 123. Visible and invisible …what state is that infrastructure in, behind the curtain? CC-BY-SA LanSmash via Flickr
  124. 124. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Tetradian www.tetradian.com Project By Date VersionNOTES-H theatre-context theatre management stage / setting front-of-stage backstage audience scene actor / agent
  125. 125. …who are the audience?
  126. 126. …what are audience expectations?
  127. 127. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Tetradian www.tetradian.com Project By Date VersionNOTES-H theatre-context theatre management stage / setting front-of-stage backstage audience scene actor / agent
  128. 128. …who manages the theatre?
  129. 129. …how will you promote your identity? CC-BY markhillary via Flickr
  130. 130. …how will others find your story?
  131. 131. …who would you want as clientele? CC-BY-SA indigoprime via Flickr
  132. 132. …how will you keep it busy?CC-BY-SA wm2014 via Flickr
  133. 133. …how will you keep it running?CC-BY jimwinstead via Flickr
  134. 134. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Tetradian www.tetradian.com Project By Date VersionNOTES-H theatre-context theatre management stage / setting front-of-stage backstage audience scene actor / agent
  135. 135. …who is an anticlient for theatre?
  136. 136. …what is social context for theatre?
  137. 137. …what else could close your theatre?
  138. 138. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Tetradian www.tetradian.com Project By Date VersionNOTES-H theatre-context theatre management stage / setting front-of-stage backstage audience scene / props actor / agent / extras
  139. 139. http://www.pollocks-coventgarden.co.uk/index.php/pantomime-theatre-with-cinderella.html
  140. 140. In short… …we must pay attention to the story as a whole! - not just the easy bits… Context, context, context…
  141. 141. Practical: Use the NOTES checklist to assess the story and its context What are the respective needs, trade-offs, drivers? Identify what is needed to balance the relations and priorities of all stakeholders.
  142. 142. http://www.pollocks-coventgarden.co.uk/index.php/pantomime-theatre-with-cinderella.html
  143. 143. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0). To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Tetradian www.tetradian.com Project By Date VersionNOTES-H theatre-context theatre management stage / setting front-of-stage backstage audience scene / props actor / agent / extras
  144. 144. “The world* is made of stories” • The enterprise is a story – an overarching theme • Enterprise as an ongoing story of relations between people – the actors of the story • Enterprise-story comprised of many smaller stories – the scenes or story-lines (aka ‘processes’) • Enterprise-story takes place in a setting – the stage and its context, location, props etc • Stories thrive on tension, conflict and uncertainty – whereas machines generally don’t… *‘the world’ including – perhaps especially – the business-world…
  145. 145. It’s easier to engage people in the architecture if they can have fun whilst they’re doing it! The real punchline for this story:
  146. 146. Thank you!
  147. 147. Contact: Tom Graves Company: Tetradian Consulting Email: tom@tetradian.com Twitter: @tetradian ( http://twitter.com/tetradian ) Weblog: http://weblog.tetradian.com Slidedecks: http://www.slideshare.net/tetradian Publications: http://tetradianbooks.com and http://leanpub.com/u/tetradian Books: • 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) Further information:

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