Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Navigating VPEC-T

Here's the poster for a VPEC-T thinking framework master class focused on knotty problem solving & design innovation.

The aim of this map is to provide a starter-for-ten checklist of things you might consider when doing a VPEC-T analysis/design - whether sitting at your desk or in a workshop. A full poster size version is available for workshops. Please complete this 3 minute survey for a free copy.


Nigel (@taowtit).


More about VPEC-T in 10 minutes.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

VPEC-T: My Favourite Quotes

“VPEC-T is based on a profoundly radical philosophy of plurality. Instead of a single centralized value system (as found in top-down command-and-control organizations), we expect to find a range of different (overlapping, conflicting) value systems. Instead of a single coherent set of policies, we expect to find the complex interaction between different kinds of policies (commercial, security, safety, corporate responsibility, and so on). Instead of a simple set of routine events, the post-modern organization is faced with a dynamic set of emerging events. Instead of a rigid set of database records, systems content is rich and evolving. And finally, the whole human activity system is underpinned by a complex set of trust relationships between people and organizations”.
- Richard Veryard.

"There is original and very useful thinking underneath the name [VPEC-T] that I think will change the way information systems are developed over time.”

“And just one final point about that name.  It's actually very useful.  “VPEC-T” turns out to be a compressed mental checklist that can quickly be played back in your mind in meetings, as you write up the findings of a study or as you discuss the information system ‘to be’".
- Roy Grub.

“This is a genuinely different way of looking at information systems. Much of architecture and requirements analysis is focussed on the "how" rather than the "what". This book redresses the balance and provides a novel way of understanding how people and organisations interact and what information systems need to do”.
- Simon Tait.

“A simple and elegant approach to allow people who happen to be building IT architectures, to talk meaningfully with the business people who are paying for it. It's a new way to (begin to) fix an old problem. An IT architecture that ignores people will be both complex and unworkable. VPECT encourages people to type discussions around trust and values in a way that architecture frameworks ignore. An excellent tool, whose application is underestimated by its authors in areas way outside of IT architectures”.
- Peter Drivers.

“I've used VPEC-T as an internal approach to driving questions and conversations as opposed to 'throwing it on the table' - my thoughts are that asking people to think hard about their business problems etc is enough to ask without the cognitive burden of a framework (no matter how simple!). But then being an employee as opposed to a consultant means that the discussions tend to be looser, shorter and less formal than it might be as an outside consultant”.
- Mike Burke.

“Overall it was a great way of describing the business context we were operating in and gave us a solid foundation to start requirements analysis and architecture from. Certainly, we were better served by the output of this analysis than we would have been with a list of affected IT systems, or current state processes”.
- Doug Newdick.

“The most important part for me was the VT. It allowed for better conversations with clients and other stakeholders through refining my understanding of the context, relevance, responsiveness, timeliness and other business level ilities. This allowed distilling a better architecture once lensing through PEC which I see very much as technology level concerns.

It's a very useful thinking framework to focus on actual value. It is very effective at nurturing sustainable productivity and works very effectively when combined with data-driven analysis”.
- Darach Ennis.

“Trust is the cornerstone of all relationships and must be firmly established in order to ensure any exchange of dialogue. It is the most difficult element to obtain, yet it is the single most important element in the [VPEC-T] model. Trust is best established by keeping one's word and completing the actions for which you have committed ('doing what you say you will do'). Often, participants in a project will have a positive/negative trust reputation that must be understood as part of the communications process. Ways to establish and maintain credibility (trust) with other parties include transparency of purpose and full disclosure of goals and expectations (no 'hidden' agendas)”.
- James Kuhn.

Twitter tag: #vpect

Please take a look at the work-in-progress VPEC-T Metro Map.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

HK Computer Society Event: Microservices, Cloud, EDA and next practice architecture

EASIG of Hong Kong Computer Society Speaker Session: 
“Digital Transformation & Architectural Implications”
(12th July, 2016) 

Nigel Green: 5Di Ltd (UK) & CIO Connect Hong Kong Associate

In this session Mr. Nigel Green will share his experience of preparing organisations for the Digital World. He will introduce key concepts that help open-up the discussion of the implications, risks, 
and opportunities, of a digital strategy. He will also share some of the design patterns he uses in the transformation to “Digital”.

Topics covered in session: 

• How a major European Retailer is approaching their digital transformation and the tangible business benefits of their architectural approach. This will cover both business and technology architecture implications, and will include perspectives on the Micro-services pattern adopted by the “born digitals” (e.g. Netflix, Google, and Amazon).

• The dangers of “Big Design Up Front”, and perhaps paradoxically, why “Adaptive Design” is ever more crucial.

• Subject matter experts to track, follow-up research material, and next steps to take.

Event Details: 

Date:12th July, 2016 (Tuesday)

Time: 19:00-20:00

Venue: P304, Anita Chan Lai Ling Building, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University [Map]

Seats: 50

Fee: Free
HKCS (Fellow/Members) & AEA-HK members*: Free of charge
Non-members: HK$50
* Seat is subject to availability and priority will be given to HKCS member

Friday, 3 June 2016

Evolution Architecture

Caoilte O'Connor is a developer at ITV, the UK's largest Commercial Terrestrial TV Network. Here's a short  (~2 min) clip from Domain Service Aggregators: A Structured Approach to Microservice Composition . In this clip he describes how they evolved a Microservices architecture at ITV. Note his comment about working with the "architect"...

This style seems consistent with Gunnar Menzel's recent post: "The New Role of the Architect". On reading his more detailed paper on this subject, I am, however, less convinced that TOGAF or IAF will be fit-for-purpose in the new world order.  

I'm seeing a trend towards a new breed of architect; one that delivers "Just Enough Architecture - Just In Time", as one client calls it, and another,  "Minimum Viable Architecture". It seems to me that the role of the "architect/design authority" has never been more important, and yet, so called "Best Practice" methods and frameworks seem unhelpful at best, and trust-destroyers, at worst.

Also, great stuff from ThoughtWorks on "Evolutionary Architecture", when you have 18 mins to listen: here 

Is the new EA and "Evolution Architect", and is she/he more a Systems Thinker than a TOGAF practitioner? Is the architect's toolset predominantly a whiteboard and a set of pens?

Post Post:

An upcoming session at IRM EAC/BPM conference in London on 13th June:

Outcome Driven Architecture

John Slater, Senior Manager Group Retail Strategy, Nationwide
Mike Clark, Business Designer and Digital Technologist, Cohesion 360 

"Historically organisations have struggled to strike the balance between delivering at pace and building a sustainable architecture. In most cases this results in either a solution that can't be scaled or one that goes over budget, delivers late and fails to meet the desired customer and business outcomes. Using a traceable outcome driven approach to connect the business goals to the machinery of the organisation and following MVP (minimal viable product) and MVA (minimal viable architecture) principles, enabled Nationwide to co-create new features with customers and colleagues, test their impact against a consistent group of value measures and iterate, pivot or scale & roll-out at pace, whilst still building a cohesive architecture".

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Designing Digital Change

Session Synopsis for Hong Kong, April 2016: 

In this session Mr. Nigel Green shares his experience of preparing organisations for the Digital World. He introduces key concepts that will help open-up the discussion of the implications, risks, and opportunities, of a digital strategy. Whilst the popular definition of “Going Digital” is often focused on digital channels for Marketing purposes, Mr. Green explains why it also impacts many areas of the organisation, and explains why it is not simply the CMO’s, CDO’s, or CIO’s challenge alone. He will also share tools and techniques used in the design & execution of the transformation to a digitally enabled business. In addition, he will discuss pragmatic next steps to take, and share ideas on how to contribute to a business-wide discussion on the subject.

This session should be of interest to anyone trying to get to grips with what “Going Digital” means to their organization, and how to start planning the change:
  • The components of a digitally-enabled Business Model
  • The implications & risks of adopting “Bi-modal IT
  • How to design for the protection of existing core business systems whilst embracing the new
  • Dealing with an unknown future, and adaptive long-range planning
  • The dangers of “Big Design Up Front”, and perhaps paradoxically, why “Adaptive Design” is ever more crucial
  • The business and technology architecture implications - including a perspective on the applicability of a pattern adopted by the “born digitals” (e.g. Netflix, Google, and Amazon)
  • Suggested subject matter experts to track, follow-up research material, and next steps to take.