Inside Architecture

Notes on Enterprise Architecture, Business Alignment, Interesting Trends, and anything else that interests me this week...

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  • Blog Post: Does anonymity promote ill-informed consensus?

    There are a spate of new Social Media apps that have emerged lately, all of which allow people to post comments and ideas anonymously.  They are being quickly adopted, especially among the very important 13-18 year old “adolescent market.”  They are also being quickly banned for promoting cyberstalking...
  • Blog Post: Ten Ways to Kill An Enterprise Architecture Practice

    Have you seen practices that you know could kill an Enterprise Architecture practice?  I have.  A recent LinkedIn thread asked for examples, and I came up with my top ten.  I’d love to hear your additions to the list. How to screw up an EA practice Get a senior leader to ask for EA without...
  • Blog Post: Has in-person communication become the unwilling victim of technology?

    In Enterprise Architecture, one of the most important aspects of the job is not only to communicate, but to lead change.  In other words, it is great to have the data to point to a problem in an enterprise.  It is better to help that enterprise overcome it by changing something (processes,...
  • Blog Post: Podcast on the Enterprise Architecture profession–Interview with CIPS’s Stephen Ibaraki

    Way back in April, I announced the first of two podcasts with the Canadian Information Processing Society.  I just realized this weekend that I had not announced the availability of the second of those podcasts.  Error corrected. The second podcast, once again hosted by the inimitable Stephen...
  • Blog Post: Speaking at TechEd New Zealand on Business Architecture

    Haven’t  been to New Zealand yet, but I will be there soon… From September 4 through 7 in Auckland, for TechEd New Zealand.  I will be presenting two topics (Business architecture for non architects, and Aligning IT with capabilities). Now, normally you wouldn’t see Enterprise Architecture...
  • Blog Post: Conversational Antipatterns on Message Boards

    Architects argue.  I have, over the past year, spent a good bit of time on LinkedIn Message boards.  I’ve watched a lot of people argue.  I’ve learned a great deal about Enterprise Architecture, and a few things about myself, as I’ve compared notes with individuals who have different perspectives...
  • Blog Post: EA Certifications Distilled

    Mike Walker, one of my colleagues here at Microsoft, has done an excellent job of distilling various options for EA certification.  He made this presentation at the most recent Open Group Conference.  Strong Recommend. Enterprise Architecture Certifications Distilled View more PowerPoint from...
  • Blog Post: On the road to a Business Architecture Manifesto

    One very powerful metaphor that has reverberated throughout the technical community, in the past few years, was the Agile Manifesto .  Created by a group of folks who wanted to communicate the principles that drove their thinking, the Agile Manifesto has been a very useful tool for deciding if a...
  • Blog Post: Podcasts with the Canadian Information Processing Society

    I was honored, recently, when the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) decided to interview me on the topics of Enterprise Architecture.  The first of those interviews has appeared on the CIPS.CA web site.  You can link to it from here. http://www.cips.ca/CIPS-INTERVIEWS-Nick-Malik...
  • Blog Post: Wikipedia’s EA article, second pass

    After a rather protracted discussion on LinkedIn about the Wikipedia article on Enterprise Architecture (blogged here ), I took another swing at rewriting the EA article’s opening section.  It is far from perfect, but I encourage the folks who have been following this discussion to take a look. ...
  • Blog Post: Customer 2.0 Strikes

    For those folks who don’t normally track the events of the Gamer community, I’d like to share a lesson that every consumer facing business should heed.  Social Media has changed the consumer landscape in an irrevocable way.  This incident demonstrates what happens to companies that don’t understand...
  • Blog Post: Wikipedia and the definition of Enterprise Architecture

    I was asked, this week, about a page that I had put into Wikipedia nearly three years ago.  Far from being able to take credit for it, I discovered that many of the edits made since I put the page up corrupted it to the point of uselessness.  Alas, after changing that page back, I checked out...
  • Blog Post: EA Schools of Thought

    As an Enterprise Architect, I’m first and foremost a problem solver.  I don’t like to ignore problems.  Yet, it appears that EA as a field has a problem and I’m finding it tough to ignore it.  What is the problem?  If you judge by the 1500+messages that have flooded the Enterprise...
  • Blog Post: Myths of Microsoft Culture

    From time to time, I hear interesting anecdotes from colleagues or friends outside Microsoft, telling me a story about what it’s like to work at Microsoft. Often these stories are placed into a comparative context, as in: our culture is different than Microsoft, because we do XYZ and Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Update to Blogging Site

    Hi Folks, If you have wandered the wilds of the MSDN or Technet blogs in the past few days, you will have noticed that the blogging system has been given a facelift. It takes a little getting used to, but it isn't bad, all in all. If there are articles or entries that are not rendering correctly,...
  • Blog Post: What does the brand of “Enterprise Architect” stand for?

    Fascinating, sometimes, what happens when managers assign job titles. Today, I ran across a fellow, whom I will call Shawn, who works at Microsoft, and carries the title of Enterprise Architect. Now, it is possible that Shawn has, in the past, had a job similar to that of an Enterprise Architect. However...
  • Blog Post: Collaboration without common values is fruitless

    One thing that any new Enterprise Architect realizes, on or around their first day of work, is that there are not very many other Enterprise Architects in their organization.  It is easy to look around and discover that you are the one and only Enterprise Architect, or part of a very small team...
  • Blog Post: reworking my Architecture blogroll

    Many of the folks on my Architecture blog roll have been inactive, so I've dropped them. There are other, newer blogs that may deserve attention. If you know of a blog or wiki that covers Architectural issues, and you find it valuable, please send me the link so I can add it to my blog roll. (Yes, you...
  • Blog Post: Is it time to create an MBA in Business Architecture?

    Assuming that “Architecture” can be generically defined as “the art and science of designing or constructing something” (adapted from here and here ), then what exactly is Business Architecture? Extending the generalized definition above, a Business Architect should be “someone concerned with the art...
  • Blog Post: It takes a village to raise an idiot (Wiki Non Wisdom)

    I love wiki technology. I'm an editor on Wikipedia and I enjoy contributing to community-based content. The idea that individuals can contribute what they know to the rest of the world, and have it accepted at face value, is tremendous. It is also a bit weird. Recently, I returned to the Wikipedia...
  • Blog Post: As the sun rises on Web2.0, what to do about companies that 'don't play along?'

    Content comes from many places, including news sites, media companies, and individual contributors. In fact, as the Web 2.0 era becomes 'mainstream,' it is becoming common to see sites like MSNBC.com where a news story has room for responses, or CNN.Com where responses are visible on some articles (but...
  • Blog Post: The ROI of Building an Internal Community

    One thing we sometimes forget to do... make time to make relationships. It is good when we do it right. Large organizations are curious things. Some folks like to think of a company as something akin to an organism, with a heart and lungs and nervous system, all supporting the same goal. Some companies...
  • Blog Post: Why can't Open Source be used to fix problems like this?

    I work deep in the heart of Microsoft, and I make no secret of it: I like open source. I won't start some great debate about OSS, or the traditional opposition of my employer to OSS. I support my company, and I want the stock price to go up, but I do believe that there are some problems that Open...
  • Blog Post: All bloggers are Customer 2.0, but not every Customer 2.0 is a blogger

    I'd like to draw a distinction that I should have drawn before. I had an interesting discussion in e-mail after my previous blog post on EA and Customer 2.0. I suggested that Kai, our persona for Customer 2.0, learned how to write code and develop mashups in school, but she doesn't need to use that skill...
  • Blog Post: Politecture

    Aaron Hanks gets credit for coining this term. Ever heard the old saw that says that software reflects the organizational structure of the team that writes it? That begs the question: which came first? The Architecture of the app (to which the organization fit itself) or the organization (to which...
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