Gartner urges more 'design thinking' to break enterprise architecture out of its silo

Gartner urges more 'design thinking' to break enterprise architecture out of its silo

Summary: Design thinking -- already popular in business circles -- comes to IT. It will also change the shape of enterprise architecture.

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TOPICS: CXO, IT Priorities
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According to a new statement from Gartner, most enterprise architecture (EA) initiatives "remain trapped in the IT department," and the consultancy recommends a new approach it calls "hybrid thinking" to break EA out and into the wider organization.

So what exactly is "hybrid thinking"?  Hybrid thinking is actually another way to describe design thinking, which is a holistic approach to problem solving -- versus throwing technical fixes at problems.

So how does this help enterprise architecture?  Gartner provides some flowery language, suggesting that it "combines the analytical mastery of architects with the intuitive originality of designers." In other words, human sensibilities are required to tackle complex, intractable issues.

Gartner's Nicholas Gall puts it this way:

“By integrating design thinking, which is already very popular in business circles but is virtually unknown in IT circles, enterprise architects can focus on the right tempo of operations, enabling them to center their outcomes on influencing people, rather than systems.”

Gall's proposal seems to extend the principles of Agile development methodologies, in which developers work closely with business users every step of the way. Along these lines, Gall urges directly involving users in testing and prototyping ideas early to get immediate feedback.

As part of this thinking, Gartner also predicts that, by 2013, more than 20% of organizations will explicitly design their businesses from the "outside in" – up from less than five percent in 2009. Not sure how in the world they came up with this stat, but it sounds good.

Topics: CXO, IT Priorities

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  • RE: Gartner urges more 'design thinking' to break enterprise architecture out of its silo

    @Joe: ??????According to a new statement from Gartner, most enterprise architecture (EA) initiatives ??????remain trapped in the IT department,?????? and the consultancy recommends a new approach it calls ??????hybrid thinking?????? to break EA out and into the wider organization.??????

    Yep - I listened to their presentation on that also.

    You know what I thought?

    I thought - but this is nothing new - this is EA.

    This is how I have been thinking and working for the past 10 years.

    Are the Emperors New Clothes made from the most fantastic material ever that is so wonderful only the intelligent important people can see them???

    I am afraid that I am but a humble Architect. To me, the Emperor is naked.

    Kevin.
    kevin@...
    • RE: Gartner urges more 'design thinking' to break enterprise architecture out of its silo

      @kevin@... If you've been doing everything I discussed in my presentation for the past 10 years, that's great! You're WAY ahead of the curve. As I mentioned in my talk, I'd love to discuss doing a case study with anyone who's already doing this. My email is firstname.lastname@gartner.com (my first name is Nick for email purposes).

      What's not so great is calling what you've been doing "EA". "EA" is trapped by its own techno-focused baggage. Why would you want to call what you're doing by the same name used by TOGAF, FEAF, and DODAF? What you're doing, if it's what I discussed in my presentation, isn't anything like what those frameworks are recommending.

      Part of the point of my presentation is that at the very least, we now have better names for what great architects have been doing all along, and these names are design thinking and hybrid thinking. Sometimes the light of a better way is hidden under the bushel of a bad name.
      nickgall
    • RE: Gartner urges more 'design thinking' to break enterprise architecture out of its silo

      @kevin@... I just realized that you may have only listened to the podcast on hybrid thinking, not seen my keynote presentation. Which one are you referring to when you say you "listened to their presentation". I admit that the podcast is a bit light on details, so if that's all you've heard about hybrid thinking, I can understand why you are underwhelmed. Again, happy to discuss one on one with you.
      nickgall
      • RE: Gartner urges more 'design thinking' to break enterprise architecture o

        I only just say this from 3 years ago!

        I was prompted to come back here because of Richard Veryards article in this month jEA asking if Systems thinking and EA are linked in some way, and how a group of hyper intelligent pan-dimensional beings discussed it, when in fact systems thinking lies at the heart of ALL Architecture work and has done for the last 10,000 years. The fact that important people debate such simple things is beyond my comprehension.

        This brought me back to this posting - Design Thinking and Hybrid thinking are pointless terms that try to sound new but are only what EA already is (that is EA as described by people that really know what it is rather than the vocal majority who think its and IT thing - a lot like gartner)
        kevinleesmith