April 7, 2011

Social architecture

As more and more people busy themselves with architecture, discussion around this discipline seem to go around in cirles. Talking to practitioners, it seems that we all have experienced more than once discussions around questionssuch as

  • What is architecture really?
  • How should we document architecture?
  • What does it mean to do architecture?
  • Who do we do architecture for?
  • etc.

Even though these questions are interesting from an academic perspective (and yes, I'm actively pursuing this line of research), in pracctice we just have to get the job done!

It appears that traditionally, architecture is concisered to be an engineering discipline: we figure out what it is we want to achieve, what the gap is between where we want to go and where we are, make a plan, and implement it in the organization. These days, however, more and more people with a non-engineering / IT backbground are involved in architecture work, leading to renewed attention to disciplines such as

  • business architecture
  • strategic architecture
  • social architecture
  • etc.

Different people with different backgrounds getting involved in this field, implies that the way we consider orgazations shifts too (probably from a "machine perspective" to a "social perspective", see e.g. images of organization). It follows that the way the fundamental questions raised previously deserve different answers too.

I am partiularly interested in the impact that this shift has on the question of how to do architecture, as well as the role of architecture models. My hypothesis is as follows: in a social perspective of organizations, doing architecture means influencing the people that make an organiztion to move in a certain direction which can be clarified by architecture models.

This post is an open invitation for all readers to share their thoughts, experiences, and best practices with respect to the above hypothesis.

Post a Comment