Friday, June 24, 2005

Stop "Fake" Analysis

I love "fake" news -- the kind presented on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart (see Fake News Follies). I totally concur with Bill Moyers who, appearing recently as a guest on the show, said: "You [Jon Stewart] are one of the few people who can get the truth insinuated. If Mark Twain were back today he'd be on Comedy Central."

What I very much dislike is "fake" analysis, especially when it comes from a reputable research firm like AMR.

The headline of a recent AMR Research Alert Highlight grabbed my attention.
 Alert Highlight
Enterprise Architect: A Strategic Role for the Demand-Driven Enterprise
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Eric Austvold
Great title, right? The only problem is vacuous content. This is a classic example of what I wrote about in an earlier posting -- "How Much of EA is BS?"
"It seems that anytime you put people into a position where they feel obliged to talk about things that they don't really know very much about, you're apt to get a lot of BS."
Mr. Austvold, in this article, has taken the liberty of freely shuffling his use of terminology back and forth between "enterprise architect," "IT architect," and "enterprise IT architect." I'm sorry to complain, but it strikes me that this lack of descriptive specificity is reflective of someone who doesn't quite grasp the actual role played by enterprise architects.

While it might seem perfectly reasonable and logical to metaphorically compare an architect used for remodeling a house with an enterprise architect used for transforming a company's supply chain, as Mr. Austvold does in this article, I find that the more times I read through this AMR Alert Highlight, the more convinced I am that this author does not understand how enterprise architecture is actually practiced in the real world.

There's a problem here. For some reason, people in IT just love the notion of architecture. At the same time, though, no one seems to knows how to define what architecture actually means as it applies to IT. This impedance mismatch between what one person thinks they're saying and what another person thinks they're hearing leads to some awful misunderstandings.

One organization is trying to tackle this issue head-on -- IASA, the International Association for Software Architects.

IASA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and sharing of issues related to software architecture. Their mission is to serve as a driving force for research and standards which advance the understanding of software architecture.

The IASA web site includes some excellent Resource Links which are listed below:

World Wide Institute for Software
SEI Architecture
Bredemeyer Consulting
EA Community
Global Enterprise Architecture Organization
Institute for Enterprise Architecture Developments
Enterprise Architecture Interest Group
Software Architectures
The open group architecture
Software Fortresses
Enterprise Architect Magazine
Convergent Architecture
Software Fortress Model
Documenting Architecture Views
Architect BootcampAmazon Link
Metropolis Architecture Style


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