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Architectural Themes the Good the Bad and the Ugly

        posted by , August 14, 2012

Are the architectural messages coming from your EA team consistent and compelling?

As a EA team, it's important to establish some architectural themes to drive forward. There are a few simple rules to ensure that your themes are effective.

Architectural Themes

Architectural themes are similar to principles.

Architectural principles are long term aspirational goals. Themes are more time sensitive. They're your architectural goals for the year or quarter.

Themes are essential to your strategy, initiatives and EA marketing efforts. They're what tie everything together.

The Good

There are four qualities of a good architectural theme:

1. Compelling (themes should sell like hotcakes)
2. Achievable (themes need to be realistic)
3. Relevant (themes should add significant business value)
4. Elegant (themes should significantly improve your architecture)

The Bad

A bad theme doesn't have impact. Stakeholders don't see it as compelling, achievable or relevant. It just doesn't fly.

The Ugly

A ugly theme is compelling — stakeholders buy in. However, it isn't elegant — it's the wrong architectural direction.

This is the worst thing that can happen. If your organization doesn't buy into your themes — EA is ineffective. If the organization buys a bad architectural direction — EA is destructive.

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