Enterprise Architecture Discipline Taxonomy brainstorming

Some initial thoughts on a full Enterprise Architecture that covers more than Information Technology only perspective.

This is one view of a multi-dimensional concept.


About briankseitz
I live in PacNW in a small town and work for Microsoft as a Enterprise strategy and architecture SME. I enjoy solving big complex problems, cooking and eating, woodworking and reading. I typically read between 4-8 business and technology books a month.

6 Responses to Enterprise Architecture Discipline Taxonomy brainstorming

  1. geoff elliott says:

    Hi Brain

    just use vsm (stafford beer) as the basis for ea

    • briankseitz says:

      Viable System Models (VSM) are good for the second level of enterprise architecture. However, like BPM and Data Modeling one first have to have the buiness model defined for VSM to be effective. I do agreed that VSM is a valuable tool for EA. The business model to IT translation research I’m conducting is centered around this linkage and I see VSM as one of the better tools to enable that.

  2. Adrian Miley says:

    Still not convinced about Enterprise Architecture as a “do it all” discipline though I can certainly see the benefit of having a framework and taxonomy that covers all aspects of a business.

    First there are the problems of trying to govern through process something that is constantly evolving through organic growth and subject to many pseudo-random events (the black swans) that throw many long term plans off course.

    However the main issue for me is good old fashioned “separation of concerns” – integrating both the problem definer (the left hand side = what we need to do) and the solution provider (the right hand side = how we do it) doesn’t allow for independent assessment of either side.

    In the worse cases I’ve seen (mostly involvingt the large solutions providers) we have the problem being defined in terms of a prefered solution. It’s difficult to challenge that when everyone’s just following “the XYZ process”.

  3. briankseitz says:

    I don’t believe EA is a “do it all” discipline any more than I think dwelling architecture or engineering is a do all discipline. However, to be called Enterprise Architecture the activities that should be accomplished should be more than spec-ing out networks, servers and application software. Doing those tasks only I would stay you’re an IT Architect not an Enterprise Architect.

    “Separation of concerns” sounds like an old management consulting initative that lost favor during the 80s in the rest of the product development organinzations. Since then concurrent engineering, collaboration and other team focused activities have demostrated better performance. That does not address you independent assessment issue, but neither does having two people ensure such. I’ve seen many so-cased independent assessments that were “colored”. The classic gamesmenship example is a consulting firm helping a client to write the RFP that the service organization replies to. The requirement is divided and expressed in the language that favors the firm’s service organization as opposed to other competitors

    The only thing that fosters the result wanted is having a culture of quality and openness; enabling people t speak freely.

  4. Ray McKenzie says:


    If I were drawing the diagram, I think that I might consider dropping the top two boxes and put the remaining 8 boxes under “Enterprise Architecture”. The reason that I say this is that the top two imply some kind of separation between “Business” and “Information Technology”, while the boxes under “Information Technology” are about both.



  5. briankseitz says:

    Thanks for the suggestion. I originally considered not making a divide between business and IT, however, the current frameworks, methodologies and the way technologists address the issue today that split is a state of being. The discussions on the Google EA Forum continues to promote a technology perspective of EA; concepts such as business models and the like are noticeably absent. Management system models such as VSM are discussed but as alternatives to org-charts not as ways to examine another dimension of EA.

    I’m currently looking at how to represent the EA taxonomy as a muti-dimensional model like a 3D CAD model, however, the limitations of current graphic formats I have avialable to use limit display to three dimensions at best. It maybe a faceted mindmap or a radar chart becomes the visualization method in the future.


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