By Garry Doherty, The Open Group
Charles Darwin is usually misquoted. He didn’t mention anything about “survival of the fittest;” what he really said was, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” And that’s what EA is all about, is it not?
In nature, complexity abounds; but nothing is ever more complex than it needs to be… a real lesson for Enterprise Architects.
So, like evolution, TOGAF™ is a catalyst to appropriate change, creating the infrastructure and momentum behind business strategy, simplifying the organization and ensuring that it is never more complex than it actually needs to be. To slightly misquote Turing Award winner Alan Perlis: “Fools ignore complexity, pragmatists suffer it, but geniuses remove it.”
Managing complexity is the key
Of course, I’m not suggesting that Enterprise Architects are geniuses (though I’ve met a few who could credibly apply for the position), but without a control mechanism to ensure that appropriate change happens in the way it needs to happen, rising complexity (and therefore risk) will strangle the organization.
TOGAF™ is much more than just a method for doing EA; it must genuinely be seen in the broader context of a natural process. Admittedly, evolution has had a bit of a head start, but the outcomes of TOGAF™ and evolution are similar. As natural evolution never stops, neither too must that of TOGAF™.
Garry Doherty is an experienced product marketer and product manager with a background in the IT and telecommunications industries. Garry is the TOGAF™ Product Manager and the ArchiMate® Forum Director at The Open Group. Garry is based in the U.K.