Architectural Thinking

Pragmatic EA, FEAF, TOGAF, Zachman and the list goes on and on and on. There seems to be no end to what defines an EA framework, and I have always been advocate, and vocal, on first looking into the business and then mapping everything else starting from the value proposition and the influencing factors. So, I tend to just read snippets of any new framework, methodology, practice, standard… you name it and then see how it fits within the overall view of the business world (I still have a softer spot for Zachman though).

So when I first started seeing Architectural Thinking Association post within my LinkedIn profile, I didn’t give it that much of focus or interest. It wasn’t until I saw a post announcing that Mike Rosen joining the leadership that I started to put some excitement into the association. Also, for those who don’t know who Mike Rosen is, he is the founder Business Architecture Guild that genuinely establishes a great framework to close the gap between the business and operating model of an enterprise. So looking into the leadership page you could see Milan Guenther, who is the founder of the Enterprise Design Association, which tries to bring the design thinking practices into architecting the enterprise.

Again, the leadership page doesn’t include any tech-savvy personnel which I hope will help the association to defer the IT view of the enterprise and focus on the business as a whole and its interaction with the environment. I know their white-paper detour toward the technical aspects of the enterprise, scanned it and didn’t read, but this association is very new (I guess late 2018) and I hope things will change with the new joining members. I will read their available content for the time being and will try to summarize their approach within a short time (If only I could buy time!). So until then, I wish Wolfgang Goebl all the best luck and hope I see more content from them.


Like usual, I prematurely judged that the architectural thinking framework is somehow technical. But I skipped the most important part of the whitepaper Which is starts on page 7, ya stupid me.

So this architectural thinking framework is somehow a lightweight EA that focuses on the business architecture at its heart rather than defining the domain as an amazonian jungle. The framework centers around four pillars:

  • Architecture Model, or the metamodel.
  • Architecture Maps.
  • Architecture Principles.
  • Integration Points

So the metamodel is focusing on very abstract models that represent the business in two forms (capability and value streams), data (information concepts), and the technical aspects (Application and Technology). From the first look, it seems like a very high-level Archimate notation without digging into the 50+ models it has.

The Architectural maps encapsulate a couple of views and diagrams that are agreed upon in most EA practices, like strategy maps and lvl2+3 value streams.

The architecture principles are the same that are agreed upon in most EA practices which I have my concerns about, but that is for another post.

And finally, the integration points serve as discrete relationships between the framework and the various models in the enterprise (business or operating).

In its current form, this seems like a straightforward but practical approach to a minimum set of artifacts to simulate a foundational EA practice for the enterprise. But there is shallow involvement from the community at the moment which I hope would be resolved with time.