The Art of Enterprise Architecture – Section Three – Planning The Architecture

In the practical art of enterprise architecture, the best thing of all is to address the enterprise as a whole and intact; to partition and divide it is not so good. So, too, it is better to address a segment entire than to divide it, to address a division, a subject area or a company entire than to divide them.

Hence to participate in all your change initiatives is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in guiding the solutions without participating within the solution projects. Thus the highest form of architecture leadership is to preempt the stakeholders plans; the next best is to prevent the junction of the unguided solutions; the next in order is to participate in the solution projects; and the worst policy of all is to besiege solutions. The rule is, not to besiege solutions if it can possibly be avoided. The preparation of methods, tools, and various implements of enterprise architecture, will take up three whole months; and the piling up of support over against the politics will take three months more.

The enterprise architect, unable to control his irritation, will launch his architects to the projects like swarming ants, with the result that one-third of his architects are consumed by the solutions, while the architecture still remains untaken. Such are the disastrous effects of a siege. Therefore the skillful leader subdues the solution projects without any direct participation; he captures their architectures without laying siege to them; he overthrows the portfolios without lengthy operations in the field.

By using the architects in this the proper way, not one resources is lost to the solutions and the architects can be of assistance to many more projects.  Thus, the enterprise architects triumph will be complete. This is the method of doing architecture by strategy.

Now the enterprise architecture is the bulwark of the company; if the bulwark is complete at all points; the enterprise will be strong; if the bulwark is defective, the enterprise will be weak.

There are three ways in which a sponsor can bring misfortune upon his architects:–

1. By commanding the architects to engage or to disengage, being ignorant of the fact that it cannot obey. This is called hobbling the architects.

2. By attempting to govern an architecture function in the same way as he administers an enterprise, being ignorant of the conditions which obtain in a specialist function. This causes restlessness in the architect’s minds.

3. By employing the seniors of his architecture function without discrimination, through ignorance of the architecture principle of adaptation to circumstances. This shakes the confidence of the other architects.

But when the architecture is unstable and distrustful, trouble is sure to come from the other stakeholders. This is simply bringing anarchy into the architects, and flinging architecture away.

Thus we may know that there are five essentials for any successful enterprise architect:

1. He will be successful who knows when to employ architecture and when not to employ architecture.

2. He will be successful who knows how to handle both strong and weak stakeholders.

3. He will be successful whose architects is animated by the same spirit throughout all its knowledge domains.

4. He will be successful who, prepared himself, guide the ill prepared solutions.

5. He will be successful who has architecture capacity and is not interfered with by the sponsor.

Hence the saying: If you know the architecture and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred projects. If you know yourself but not the architecture, for every solution made you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the architecture nor yourself, you will succumb in every solution.

You can read Section One here:

You can read Section Two here:

The text above is based upon the writings of Sun Tzu in the Art of War. Several translations has been read prior to writing the text above, but the most prominently used translation is the one retrieved from “”. I consider the text above a work in progress…


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