Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Should ‘GOODNESS” replace the word “GOVERNANCE”?

I believe we need rethink the Enterprise Architecture practice. I favour starting from a ‘Systems Thinking’ foundation, and therefore go back to John Boyd’s OODA loop:

and Dan Ward’s Simplicity Cycle.

Please take a look at this video to give the rest of this post a bit of context:

Should  ‘GOODNESS” replace the word “GOVERNANCE” in the new order of things?

As a starting point. I believe by standing-on-the-shoulders-of-giants of those who originated and develop System Thinking, Cybernetics, Complexity Theory and Design Thinking will help us re-invent EA.  Personally, no longer call myself an Enterprise Architect - I prefer the title Change Designer - why? Because it simply describes what I do and I can explain it to C-Levels in just a few words entirely focused on business outcomes, stages in the journey and risks & IRACIS (IR: improved revenue, AC: avoid cost & IS: improve service).

Update 0603/17

Can we look to the Unicorns for inspiration? I recall a discussion I had with a few Silicon Valley types at OSCON London recently. I asked a very genuine question:

"How do the likes of Netflix, Paypal, Uber etc. approach Governance?"

The answer: "We don't use that word, in Silicon Valley!"

This got me thinking; surely things must be driven towards some sort of order? And then, maybe my mental-model was wrong. Maybe if I put on my "Complex Adaptive" hat (ref. Cynefin), I will see that the architecture must evolve, in chunks of context specific outcomes, over time. And in this approach, is "Goodness" ( a la Dan Ward above) the key measure of alignment with outcome?; in a Complex system, the bad are attenuated, and the good amplified - this is how, useful (fit-for-purpose), solutions evolve. So, maybe, it's not about driving things to a predetermined outcome; maybe instead, it's about orchestrating and encouraging adoption of practice that delivers context-specific "goodness" (in Dan Ward's sense of the word).

It strikes me that there appaers to be a close relationship between Dand Ward's Complexity/Goodness model (describe in the video above) to this one:

Although 'User Happiness" is only one context: a Value System. Another might be 'The Regulator'. Is it true, however, that focusing on simplicity, and conext-specific "Goodness", are we more likely to satisfy both?

Hence my question - Should "GOODNESS" replace "GOVERNANCE"? Or, indeed, is this what they already do in Silicon Valley? I'm sure there's much more to undertsand - but I think its a good question for debate!

Please follow the tags #foundindesign #horsesunicorns on Twitter for more discussion on this and related topics.

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