Funny to observe how much effort has been spend lately in counter-arguing the arguments for having an all-embracing succinct definition of enterprise architecture. The message is that it is “not worth the effort” as there is no succinct definition capturing the essence to find, and that one shouldn’t care because a definition does not really matter anyway.
One of the arguments being put forward to support that position is that one does not have an all-embracing succinct definition of “accounting” or “engineering” either and no one really seems to care or to be hindered. A lot of accountants and engineers just do what they do and the value delivered is widely recognized.
It is however exactly that assertion that points to the heart of the matter. It is not a definition that is essential, it is broadly shared, sufficient tacit knowledge. That’s what is different for “accounting” or “engineering”. People hiring an accountant or an engineer almost never ask for a definition although they themselves may not be able to come even close to an all-embracing succinct one.
Question is: how does one get to broadly shared, sufficient tacit knowledge? One may wonder whether sufficient tacit knowledge of what is “accounting” or “engineering” was always broadly shared. The answer is: of course not!
It is debate, in order to synthesize a story, even if that is an attempt to get to better definition, that advances tacit knowledge transfer and eventually installs broadly shared, sufficient tacit knowledge.
Fact is that I agree with above mentioned position that there is not one succinct definition capturing the essence to find. But a defining story is definitely within reach. Next posts will shed more light on what I mean with that apparent contradiction.