The Art of Enterprise Architecture – Section 10 – Domains

We may distinguish six kinds of problem domains, to wit

  1. Simple;
  2. Entangling;
  3. Temporizing;
  4. Narrow;
  5. Precipitous;
  6. Location;

These six are problem related principles connected with the scene. The architect who has attained a responsible post must be careful to study them.

Simple problems

Problems which can be easily understood by anyone is called simple. With regard to problems of this nature, be before the stakeholder in addressing these low hanging fruits, and carefully guard your maintenance queues. Then you will be able to negotiate with advantage.

Entangling problems

Problems which can be abandoned but is hard to re-address is called entangling. Confronting a problem of this sort, if the team is prepared, you may sally forth and solve it. But if the team is unprepared, and you fail to solve it, then, a second attempt being impossible from a stakeholders view, disaster will ensue.

Temporizing problems

When the politics is such that neither side will gain by making the first move, it is called temporizing problems. In a position of this sort, even though the sponsor could offer us an attractive mission, it will be advisable not to stir forth, but rather to retreat, thus enticing the stakeholders in their turn; then, when a key part of the stakeholders has committed, we may deliver our service with advantage.

Narrow problems

With regard to narrow problems, if you can solve them first, let them be strongly guarded and await the advent of the sponsors. Should someone else forestall you in solving a narrow problem, do not go after it if the stakeholders are fully satisfied, but only if the stakeholders are partially satisfied.

Precipitous problems

With regard to precipitous problems, if you are beforehand with your stakeholders, you should grab the opportunity, and then wait for the sponsors to appear. If the stakeholders has sieged the opportunity before you, do not follow them, but retreat and try to entice them away.

Location problems

If you are situated at a great distance from the sponsors, and the strength of the stakeholders equals or overpowers your own, it is not easy to provoke a shift, and entering the scene will be to your disadvantage.

Some references

  1. Cynefin (The definitions above do not reflect the structure of the Cynefin. This link is just so you may dig in other grounds to understand more.)


You can read Section One here: section-one-strategy

You can read Section Two here: section-two-doing-architecture

You can read Section Three here: section-three-planning-the-architecture

You can read Section Four here: section-four-tactical-dispositions

You can read Section Five here: section-five-directing-energy

You can read Section Six here: section-six-strengths-and-weaknesses

You can read Section Seven here: section-seven-maneuvering

You can read Section Eight here: section-eight-variation-in-tactics

You can read Section Nine here: section-nine-on-the-march

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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