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The Enterprise Architect's Guide to Avoiding Loaded Words

        posted by , March 26, 2011

Ever since the early days of Enterprise Architecture — Enterprise Architects (EAs) have been masters of avoiding loaded words.

Loaded words bring with them controversy, politics and preconceptions that inhibit progress. It is easy to understand why EAs avoid them. However, EAs language has become so neutral — that there is a danger of sounding academic, wimpy or out of touch.

Classic Example

The classic example of neutral EA terminology is the Zachman framework. Zachman has six views named Contextual, Conceptual, Logical, Physical and Detailed. All neutral words unlikely to invoke controversy but all sounding a little academic.

Try explaining to a business manager — you're building her a contextual view that answers the question why? Not only will you sound academic — you will sound philosophical.

Of course, it is also common to refer to the contextual view as the planner's view — much clearer. It may invoke the occasional misperception — "I thought we completed planning three months ago!" — but at least people are more likely to understand.

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