Brown field architecture

March 20, 2014

Enterprise Architecture seems to be catching up with Agile in terms of interest in complexity in general and Cynefin in particular.  I gave a keynote today in London with the working title of A new simplicity a phrase designed to contrast with the overly simplistic approaches that over structured approaches tend to provide.  I won't repeat the whole presentation here as the podcast and slides are available.  For people familiar with Cognitive Edge most of the content will be familiar but I was pleased with the assembly and some of the turns of phrase.  A good audience always helps and I had one here.

I think the main theme of what I was saying to both the Enterprise Architects and the Business Process Management people (two parallel conferences common keynote) was that they need to realise that they are always starting from people's perception of the present and the past, they never get a green field site.   The problem is that green field is too often assumed and its not possible however desirable you might think it to be.  The related theme was the need to recognise the value of messy coherence and models and frameworks which could pass the back of the table napkin test.

Either way, listen and feel free to criticise.  Personally I always prefer architects who can make something new from the debris of the past anyway.


PS – a lot of backlog to post here over the next week or so, so apologies for my absence, its been busy.   However posts will start to appear in your RSS feed with dates through February and March.

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About the Cynefin Company

The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

Cognitive Edge Ltd. & Cognitive Edge Pte. trading as The Cynefin Company and The Cynefin Centre.


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