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Perspectives on Enterprise Architecture and Systems Thinking

EAST Group

Friday, 14 June 2013 from 09:30 to 17:00 (BST)

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Share Perspectives on Enterprise Architecture and Systems Thinking

Event Details


One Meeting


An open meeting of the EAST group will be held in Central London on June 14th 2013. Speakers to include Steve Brewis (BT), John Holland (Home Office), Patrick Hoverstadt and Lucy Loh (Fractal) and Richard Veryard (Next Practice). Facilitators Sally Bean and Jiri Ludvik. The EAST group is an outreach common interest group of SCiO, the community for systems practitioners in the UK.


Two Disciplines


The meeting is intended for experienced practitioners of Enterprise Architecture (EA) and/or Systems Thinking (ST), with an interest in the practical application of new ideas.


Three Questions 


a)      What do EA and ST have in common?

b)      What can EA and ST learn from each other?

c)       What opportunities are there for practical collaboration between EA and ST?


Four Ideas


There is a growing interest among enterprise architects in systems thinking. There are several possible reasons for this interest.

1. The idea that systems thinking provides some theoretical underpinning for enterprise architecture and/or systems architecture.

2. The idea that systems thinking is somehow complementary to enterprise architecture, and that there is some kind of synergy available from putting together concepts, techniques and practices from the two disciplines.

3. The idea that systems thinking and enterprise architecture are essentially doing the same things (modelling, abstraction, joined-up thinking, big picture, enterprise-as-system, etc etc)

4. The idea that systems thinking and enterprise architecture are rivals for our affections, and their respective champions are trying to show that one is more conceptually coherent, more broadly based, more solidly grounded, and even perhaps more useful, than the other.


Planned Agenda

(subject to revision)

Welcome, introduction, objectives and groundrules

Common elements of EA and ST - modelling

  • Steve Brewis (BT) Beyond Function Steve will talk about bringing together the reductionist paradigm of ‘functional’ architecture with the systemic paradigm of systems thinking, illustrating this with the modelling work he has been doing at BT 
  • Followed by discussion and coffee break

Complementary elements of EA and ST

  • John Holland (Home Office) EA is broken - how ST can help John will talk about his experience in a large government organization
  • RIchard Veryard (Next Practice) Beyond systems Richard will explore some practical dilemmas of systems thinking, and how to escape the dangers of analysis-paralysis.
  • Followed by discussion and lunch

Practical Collaboration - Beyond Best Practice

  • TBA (?) Real-Life Examples
  • Patrick Hoverstadt and Lucy Loh (Fractal) Towards an EAST methodology Patrick and Lucy will report on preliminary developments in the SCiO EAST working group, and explore a practical approach for combining EA and ST concepts and tools.
  • Followed by discussion and tea-break

Final Discussion

  • Further discussion, wrap-up and next steps. Facilitated by Sally Bean and Jiri Ludvik


Six Ground Rules of Debate


Examples and stories are better than definitions.

Exploration is better than categorization.

Questioning is better than asserting.

Accepting uncertainty is better than grasping at certainty.

Respectful engagement is better than passive aggression.

The Tao that can be expressed is not the eternal Tao; The name that can be defined is not the unchanging name.

Do you have questions about Perspectives on Enterprise Architecture and Systems Thinking? Contact EAST Group

When & Where

Central London

Friday, 14 June 2013 from 09:30 to 17:00 (BST)

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EAST Group

The EAST group is affiliated with SCiO (Systems and Cybernetics in Organizations)

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