The environments we work in are becoming increasingly complicated, sometimes even complex. To be able to give the best advice to an organisation, architects must get smarter.
As architects, we must improve our way of working to adapt to the exponentially increasing external variety. We must be able to deal with this variety without falling into the reductionistic trap. But how? It is time to take our sensemaking duty seriously and develop our situational awareness.
In our fourth white paper in the DYA Sensemaking series, we discuss how to translate the purpose of an organisation to a way of working for enterprise architects, that honours the challenges of a complex and changing environment. Inspired by psychology, industrial design, sociology, and systems theory, we introduce a model with three levels.
- On the first level we are making sense. What purpose does this organisation have, and what sub-systems are there? We give some perspectives to help find these sub-systems.
- On the second level, for each sub-system we change situationally. What purpose does this sub-system have, and what changes are needed? We present a way of identifying the situation and provide a pattern to help govern and guide changes. This comprises a situational architecture approach based on combining architectural method fragments.
- On the third level we change via a structured way of working, using best-practices, specialised working-regimes and standard methods, suited to the circumstances of the change.
Situational Architecturing is the fourth white paper in a series that will result in a new book in the series of DYA-books. DYA is the view of Sogeti on architecture. We believe that enterprise architecture is not static but always moving. Organisations need to be dynamic to stay relevant. With the series of whitepapers, we discuss the following main topics: human-centric, flow-oriented, value-sensitive and situational.
We welcome your feedback.
Marlies van Steenbergen, Hans Nouwens, Ton Eusterbrock, Enterprise Architects at Sogeti, Anton Opperman, Information manager at Erasmus University and Edzo Botjes, Antifragility Architect at Xebia.
See for our three preceding whitepapers:
About Hans Nouwens
Hans Nouwens is an experienced architect with 25+ years of practical experience in the field of ICT, infused with rigorous academic learning. He works as an architect and trusted advisor, mainly for Higher Education institutes. Enterprise engineering, enterprise architecture and enterprise governance are his specialities that come with DEMO and CGEIT certifications. Hans has an academic interest in sensemaking, ethics, philosophy, systems theory and cybernetics. Hans volunteers as board member for the interest group architecture of the KNVI and the Dutch society of systems thinkers (SCIO-NL). He regularly gives guest lectures on enterprise architecture and coaches students. Within SogetiNL Hans is subject matter expert Enterprise Architecture, and thought leader on the topic of Sensemaking Architecture.
More on Hans Nouwens.