The Art of Enterprise Architecture – Section 11 – Situations

The art of architecture recognizes nine varieties of situations:

  1. When an architect is fighting within his own profession, it is a dispersive situation.
  2. When an architect has investigated a problem, but to no great depth, it is a facile situation.
  3. When an architect find no alignment on the nature of things, it is a contentious situation.
  4. When an architect leave freedom of choice, it is an open situation.
  5. When an architect is faced with shared resources, is is an intersecting situation.
  6. When an architect is faced with entrenched allegiances, federated structures, politics or secrecy, it is a difficult situation.
  7. When an architect has wested his word, it is a hemmed in situation.
  8. When an architect is overrun by solutions, it is a desperate situation.
  9. When an architect has established an enterprise architecture capability, blueprints and plans, it is a serious situation.

To give advice on how to address each of these nine situations is within the experience of the guide. Acceptance of the advice lie at the heart of the matter and can only be given by the receiver. Such then is the advice on the nine situations:

When in a dispersive situation, therefore, fight not. In a facile situation, halt not. In a contentious situation, attack not. In an open situation, do not try to block choice. In an intersecting situation, seek consensus. In a serious situation, reap the benefits. In a difficult situation, keep focused on the mission. In a hemmed-in situation, resort to stratagem. In a desperate situation, fight.

The different measures suited to the nine varieties of situations; the expediency of aggressive or defensive tactics; and the fundamental laws of human nature: these are things that must most certainly be studied.

Therefore, in a dispersive situation, I would inspire my men with unity of purpose. In a facile situation, I would see that there is close connection between all parts of my team. In a contentious situation, I would make effort to bring those misaligned to the table. In an open situation, I would keep a vigilant eye on the solutions. In an intersecting situation, I would consolidate my alliances. In a serious situation, I would try to ensure a continuous stream of missions. In a difficult situation, I would keep pushing on along the path taken. In a hemmed-in situation, I would burn my ships and set sail. In a desperate situation, I would proclaim to my team the hopelessness of creating any architecture.

We cannot enter into alliance with sponsors until we are acquainted with their designs. We are not fit to lead an team on a mission unless we are familiar with the problem and situation. We shall be unable to turn obvious advantages to account unless we make use of local guides.

The following are the principles to be observed when establishing an architecture capability:

  1. The further you establish the way of working with architecture, the greater will be the solidarity of your peers, and thus the opposition will not prevail against you.
  2. Pick the low hanging fruits in order to supply your mission with provable arguments of its superiority.
  3. Carefully study the well-being of your men, and do not overtax them. Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength. Keep your team continually on the move, and devise unfathomable plans.
  4. Throw your architects into positions whence there is no escape, and they will prefer failure to flight. If they will face failure, there is nothing they may not achieve. Leaders and men alike will put forth their uttermost strength.
  5. Architects when in desperate straits lose the sense of fear. If there is no place of refuge, they will stand firm. If they are in hostile units, they will show a stubborn front. If there is no help for it, they will persist.
  6. Thus, without waiting to be marshaled, the architects will be constantly on the lookout; without waiting to be asked, they will do your will; without restrictions, they will be faithful; without giving orders, they can be trusted.
  7. Prohibit politics, and do away with unfounded doubts. Then, until the mission is completed, no calamity need be feared.
  8. The principle on which to manage an architecture capability is to set up one standard of excellence which all must reach.
  9. How to make the best of both analytical thinkers and those drawn to facilitation – that is a question involving the proper use of situations.
  10. Thus the skillful chief architect conducts his team just as though he were leading a single man, willy-nilly, by the hand.
  11. It is the way of a chief architect to be quiet and thus ensure secrecy; upright and just, and thus maintain order.

—————————————————————-

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

You can read Section Ten here: section-ten-domains

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 “http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Art_of_War_(Sun)”. I consider the text above a work in progress…

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