Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Found in Translation

Vaughan Merlyn explains Why the Notion of the IT Organization is Deeply Flawed!
"Having an IT organization that translates business requirements into IT specifications and solutions is always, at best, a flawed approach" [via Ross Jimenez]

Gartner's definition of enterprise architecture is also based on the concept of translation

"EA is the process of translating business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change." [via Nick Gall]

But we know that translation is prone to error (as Carl Bate and Nigel Green demonstrate in their book Lost in Translation) and indeterminacy (Quine).


Deloitte Consulting uses the term "Lost in Translation" to market its enterprise architecture practice,
illustrated with what appears to be a Chinese version of the Zachman framework.
"Many IT infrastructures are set up without a common language in place that cuts across different enterprises, making it difficult for strategic decisions to be effectively translated into the organization’s technology foundation. That’s where enterprise architecture (EA) can make a difference."
"Deloitte has access to a full range of capabilities in consulting, tax, audit and finance worldwide. This broad range of capabilities allows us to provide services to assist with any enterprise architecture challenge."
But just because a large service firm has access to a broad range of different capabilities, it doesn't automatically follow that these capabilities are joined up, or that the firm is able to translate effectively between different professional disciplines. See my post From 'Organizational Intelligence' to 'Ability to Execute'.

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