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Showing posts from February, 2018

Changing Principles

In EA, architecture principles set a framework for making architectural decisions.  They help to establish a common understanding across different groups of stakeholders, and provide guidance for portfolios and projects.  Michael Durso of the LSE gave a good introduction to the idea in a webinar last week for the UCISA EA community.

Many organisations take the TOGAF architecture principles as a starting point.  These are based on the four architectural domains of TOGAF: business, information/data, applications, technology/infrastructure.  These principles tend to describe what should be done, e.g. re-use applications, buy in software rather than build it, keep data secure.  See for example the principles adopted at Plymouth University and the University of Birmingham.

Recently though, I encountered a different way of looking at principles.  The user experience design community tend to focus more on how we should do things.  E.g. we should start with user needs, use iterative developm…

Purpose and bureaucracy

According to this article in Scientific American, there is a fair bit of psychological research into how we find meaning and happiness in our lives.  The two are often correlated; feeling that our lives have meaning helps to make us happy, although sometimes short-term happiness has to take back seat to longer term personal development.&nbsp

Purpose is one key aspect of meaning.  It is not surprising that people feel greater satisfaction when they feel their lives have purpose, and that much of the literature on business leadership talks about motivating people by giving them a clear sense of purpose.  The classic (and possibly apocryphal) story is that of the NASA cleaner who, when asked what his job was for, replied that he was helping to send a man to walk on the moon.

My academic friends tend to have a clear sense of purpose for much of their work.  They see their students learn.  They see their research grow, one paper at a time.  In the support groups of Universities, that i…