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 the 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 appears 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 context-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 understand - but I think it's a good question for debate!



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

1 comment:

  1. I finally got round to watching the Dan Ward video, and found it worthwhile, though skipped the questions. The notion of 'goodness' is interesting - I was sceptical about it until I saw the video. Clearly people in an organisation would struggle to agree what factors make up goodness, but that would be a useful conversation to have at regular intervals. My only reservation with the talk as applied to EA, is that it is about the design of products, and enterprises have more dimensions of complexity arising from the human interactions within them. For example, I note that he doesn't draw the distinction that's now common between complex and complicated. However, if you read the Simplicity book reviews on Amazon, it seems people find that the ideas translate quite well to other fields. Also interesting to compare this explanation of how to cope with increasing complexity with the S-curve idea, where you can only go so far before switching to a new product or paradigm

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