Lessons Learned (unstructured and eclectic) & WWWed
consulting analyst (IT systems architecture)
Got any Good ones?
& Read List
- Why should architects make great lovers?
- In their professional lives, brilliant satisfying experiences are all about being able to sense and anticipate then plan for your partners future needs.
For your sake, I hope these skills have transferred into your personnel life, it's all about doing the right thing at the right time!
What do architectures and great order of things have in common?
They breed true until
then they mutate!
Then new patterns continuously emerge and if they're viable and stick
they often grow exponentially!
Under such conditions, adaptability dictates survival not efficiency.
What do architecture and world peace have in common?
Both noble and worthwhile but elusive goal where purity is a fantasy.
Therefore, it's ongoing and iterative and someone must lead the political
Beware, when process become more import than product (outcome), you have entered the realm of hollow bureaucratic ritual
What can architects learn from the UN?
It's a game of influence not power and the trick is to lead from behind,
walk softly, carry lots of carrots and a big stick!
Beware of the sin of hubris, it's always easier to see
minor imperfections in someone else's ideas rather than
major inadequacies in one own!
What does architecture and government have in common?
They both steer better than they row!
What does architecture and knowledge management have in common?
One of the primary principles is relevance before completeness!
What do architecture and the judicial system have in common?
The Jury (designers / implementers) tend to think of what outcome is appropriate
for this situation!
When the law (the architecture) fails to reflect what right and just,
they tend not to apply it!
The Judge (architect) tend to think of what outcome is appropriate for
the long term of the system (judicial)!
The spirit of the law is more important than the letter of the law!
What does architecture and alliances have in common?
cash cements commitment!
What can architects learn from before?
Legacy systems have one big advantage, they work!
Ours were architected, designed and implemented 5 years before the
PC was born and are the backbone and workhorses of our business today!
The fact that they are still relevant is a sheer miracle and an amazing
achievement but weren't no accident!
Oh how I yearn for the good old days, a simpler time with fewer choices,
bigger benefits and long cycles!
What can architects hope for beyond?
Not unlike the PSTN we all know and love,
the true genius of this great role model architectures is
it passes the test of time and has been exploited by others
in ways unforeseen by the original master designers!
What does architecture and nature have in common?
The more adaptable a species is the less efficient it is!
People require less precision that software solution.
You can't escape the gene pool!
A critical success factor is bio diversity. IBM was right, think but for
god sake don't all think alike!
What does architecture and poker have in common?
To win you must adapt your strategy from tight to loose based on the situation
It's the game from hell, you can't win, you can't even break
even and you can't get out of the game!
Your in hell, want heaven but live on earth and that all you can afford!
What do the weather and architectures have in common?
A safe prediction is they will both eventually change!
What do architects and lighthouse keepers have in common?
Situation dictates reliance and respect (highly dependent on weather conditions)!
For better or worse, architectures only serve to represent the complex of our experience beyond which they have little legitimacy!
What do architects and down hill racers have in come?
To win , you must first be able to see in your minds eye the whole race
from start to finish!
Without this mental model, it's hard to make the right and necessary
course adjustments when obstacles is encounter!
When it comes the race, get out of the gate quickly, stop for nothing
and go like hell!
What does architecture, infrastructure and war have in common?
All the value comes near the end! Go forth were they don't expect it, attack where they are unprepared, Sun Tzu
What does infrastructure and money have in common?
Once you get a little, immediately want a lot more!
What does architecture and strategic planning have in common?
They both tend to be black holes that suck in every thing around them and
never split anything out!
What can architects learn from financial analysis?
Success is being able to identify the significant stuff!
- What do architecture and advertising have in common?
- The real truth is we have a hard time articulating and proving that they work but we all know they do!
What can architects learn from business people?
- The bullshit walks when the money talks! Compassion is found directly underneath the wallet!
- Winning is based on the ability to see and understand patterns (models) quickly.
Patterns allow players (architects) to see moves in series,
to look at the position of things in the grand game and detect meaning.
The players who grasp the most patterns has a tremendous advantage.
What can architects learn from medicine?
When it comes to triage, maximize survival by bypassing the dieing,
comfort the injured and get directly to work saving those who can truly
benefit from your help!
What can architecture learn from "Origins of the Species"?
All complex systems are evolution of simpler ones!
Form and function evolve in parallel over multiple interactions.
The first generation is rudimentary but get the basics right and then
subsequent generation become increasing specialized and more robust!
What can architecture learn from Charles Darwin?
It's not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent,
but the ones most responsive to change!
Mutation and natural selection of the past and the present
are the path to the future!
What can architects learn from bridge builders?
For predictable stress and strain, critical joints should be pinned not
What can architects learn from "creation"?
God created the earth in 7 day's because there was no installed
The truth is, the best road to the future doesn't start from here
but here's what we got!
What can architects learn from Frank Lloyd Wright?
elegant, architecturally inspired, and functional homes with leaky roofs.
What can architects learn from Leonardo?
A recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things
and phenomena. Systems Thinking!
What can architects learn from sailors?
All import journeys into the unknown requires frequent star fixes!
- What can want-a-be systems architects of today learn from the great ship builders of yesteryear??
- You only undertake building new ship after studying in great detail the master pieces of the past so
you know what works well and more importantly what doesn't work at all, well stolen is half done!
What can architects learn from Sun Tzu?
It's easy to take over from those who don't plan ahead!
Those who are able to adapt to changes in the enemy and achieve victory
are considered supreme!
What can architects learn from the marketplace?
It's a war of maneuverability not position!
It's not information technology; it's business technology.
What can architects learn from Grady Booch?
"There has to be a recognition that the days of discreet applications development
projects are rapidly coming to an end,"
"Because software is so critical to business success, it now has to
evolve more or less continuously.
To keep the business up and running software development organizations
can't afford to throw things away and start from scratch, they need to
make incremental improvements all the time.
"This, in turn, implies that a strong architectural vision is important
in order to maintain the conceptual integrity of the whole system.
An incremental and interactive software life cycle, together with strong
architecture, are consistent factors in successful software development
organizations world wide."
What can architects learn from John Kenneth Galbraith?
When the facts change, I change my mind; What do you do?
What can architects learn from the Chinese leadership?
They are reluctant to become dependent on foreign devils for critical technologies!
Are we as wise as the Chicoms?
What can architect learn from marketing?
Problem/Solution selling works best! Alas, it's much easier to sell weed
killer than prevention!
What do OPEC and IT have in common?
They're both long on promise but come up short on delivery!
For OPEC that too much too soon for too little, for IT not enough not
soon enough for too much!
So, be from Missouri, seeing is believing, more risk management less
What can architecture learn from Marshall McLuhan?
First we shape our tools (architectures),
then they (architectures) shape
If the medium is the message! Then the IT infrastructure is the enabler!
Systems are always define in terms of available solutions where
technology, tools and talent always pace the solution!
What can architecture learn from "the enlightenment"?
The quest for "the great unifying theory" is a noble undertaking but a
for today we just don't know enough!
What can architects learn from neuroscience?
Not unlike our minds, our systems may dream.
Current theory speculate that as we rest, we first reducing external
stimulus and then
sift through the events of the day, some we forget others we for file
for future recall!
There is a monitoring centre but no master control!
There are co-operating independent area that do there thing while keep
other areas apprised while adjusting to their surrounding.
That's Sensors, Stimulus, Situation where all critical life support
functions are autonomy and replicated!
What can architects learn from the telephone system?
it's a perfect role model architecture for the network computing infrastructure
where every device in this system of systems has a common means of
connecting to the network.
On the other hand, the network is a very complex system that is
professionally managed and modernized by skilled technicians.
The success of this model is the result of strict adherence to open
What can architects learn from the military?
When the critical success factor is
communications and understanding then use a short chain of command!
reaction time is understand the doctrine!
What can architects learn from war and weapon systems?
- First idenify a few clear targets, aim for victory, marshal overwhelming force,
know when and where to engage and have an exit strategy!
They both need a quick time to target, maximum kill ratio,
minimal collateral damage and never fail in the heat of battle!
What can architects learn from social systems?
In highly politicized situations, the how can be more important than the
What can object (component) architects learn from wealth!
For money it's accumulate then manage, for solutions it's function then
form, for integration it's access then leverage!
Once you've slay the first dragon, the next devil appears! This is
the nature order of things, can you say ORBs?
Order separation of concerns followed by a high order state of affairs!
What does software development and car racing have in common?
Your pole position (starting point) is a great indicator of final outcome!
The type and condition of the track (infrastructure) dictates lap times!
For pit stops, time to resolution (back on track) is difference between
finishing with money or not! a stitch in time saves nine
What does architecture and music have in common?
Pace and tempo are important!
What does architecture and standards have in common!
The proof of the pudding is product not prose, the great ones are found
in practice not in books,
For better or worse, the vagaries of the marketplace will always be
the ultimate arbitrator!
What do solution sets and books have in common?
the content is important, not the size.
How well does the solution address the problem, if it doesn't the productivity
What do solution sets and people have in common?
The better they collaborate the better the outcome!
They're all born to die! We all want to get to heaven but
nobody want's to die!
What do systems and cars have in common?
All good things must come to an end. Cars, system or technology, what the
When the month service cost are about the same as the new amortized
replacement cost, it's time to act.
The old just ain't cutting it anymore, it's spending half its life
in the shop and it works but not well and tends to break down at the most
inconvenient and critical times!
Procrastination is all about wishful thinking, so know when to make
What about twenty year cost of ownership?
Two choices, new car every three years or buy two and driven them into
Outcomes option one cost ten times more than the two car plan!
What do all economic, business and system models (architectures) have in common?
The systems structure is defined by key scarcity and abundance!
The shift from scarcity to plenty is often the harbinger of
new value propositions!
What do bananas, technology and mindware have in common?
They come in colours, that's means shelf life!
Some are green, yellow, brown, then black and if you ignore them long
enough they just go bad.
Any given bunch of bananas has a natural order of colours, as time
passes the colour will change and it's got a lot to do with shelf life!
If servers have dog years, a two year old server will have a mid life
What do sharks and architecture have in common?
if they stop moving forward, you're dead!
What do IT and Telecom networks have in common?
About 50% of the cost is just running the thing and dealing with growth.
What's the The Golden Rule of Systems?
Build something simple that model the real world and keep it that way!
Drucker, organizations fail when the
on which they were built no longer fit reality.
All systems have an architecture, it's either implicit or explicit
but more importantly can anyone tell you what it is?
What can architects learn from industrial engineering (Tailor)?
The biggest saving come from things you Don't Do IT!
As it is with work design, so it is with system design; poor aggregation
and partitioning will increase complexity which in adversely effect the
What can architects learn from Parato's?
- Complete 80% of the requirements before beginning architecture and 80% of the architecture before beginning detailed design, etc.
20% of the application deliver 80% of the business value!
20% of the features and function of an application deliver 80% of the
What does estimating of software and markets have in common?
Even though we wish it different, it's more faith than fact, so place your
bet and take your chances!
What do great solution sets and good solver styles have in common?
comprehensive components with constrained coupling begets compelling cohesion!
In solution sets, that means minimizing unnecessary communication and co-ordination
through divide and conquer
In solver styles,
that means minimizing unnecessary communication
and co-ordination through
divide and conquer
That's superb architected design synergistic skeletal structures with scaffolding
targeted at teams
(division of labour with specialized function)!
The purpose of organization
is to get the best bang for the buck that's maximize outcomes with minimal
resources, make it so!
What can architects learn from entrepreneurs?
All propositions are planned, produced and promoted
with a price commensurate
What do architectures and religion have in common?
- Those that give
those that demand faith fade!
- The presence of essential mathematical harmonies is perceived instinctively, and is emotionally fulfilling - this is the foundation of all religious architectures.
What do enterprises and architecture planning have in common?
Unless your considering a going-out-of-business event, succession planning
is an important activity to ensure viable ongoing operations!
Hardware is a no-brainer whereas software seems to be a whole other
matter. Remedies sell better than prevention thing!
Take heed and remember Sun Tzu. Those who don't plan for the future are
What do architects and geneticists have in common?
Vary few of either groups are looking across all systems to see patterns!
What do new business ventures and systems have in common?
Some of the important critical success factors are adequate infrastructure
and the rule of law!
What do good relationships and architecture have in common?
- Relationships are the most important thing in a complex system. If you donít have strong relationships, none of this works.
For harmonious ones, how you deal with problems is more important than
how you resolve them.
It's all about satisfying stake holders, so soften and be more accepting
as you're doing it!
When we're young we ask, am I being satisfied enough? When we older
we ask am I satisfying enough!
What do great architectures and investments strategies have in common?
It's winning by not losing that's important, a balanced portfolio of risk
What do architects, commodity brokers and artists share in common?
For all those who dabble, only a select few can make a good living at it!
What does architecture and life have in common?
- Life is the greatest teacher, we learn by experience from our successes and our failures. Fear teaches courage just as risk teaches trust!
- They are both adventure in being and becoming and are
all about an enjoyable journey of fulfilling experience with lots
of memorable satisfactory outcomes!
They both come with
where the only single simple complete answer to all your problems is DEATH!
What do financial reports and software systems have in common?
They are both snapshot surreal derivative reflections of another reality.
Learn to live with it!
Hopefully they are accurate essence representations but never the true
What do the business and technology gangs have in common?
Under pressure, both groups might inadvertently blurt out the true!
What does good wine and great systems have in common!
First comes the planting on fertile ground in the right season!
Then for profitable wine, age and maturity are extremely critical!
What do architects and wine makers have in common?
Paranoid optimism, the hope that this years undertaking will be better
mixed with the real fear that it all might be ruined by too much sun,
rain or some other calamity!
What can architect learn from farmers?
You reap what you sow and its a poor farmer who doesn't keep the weeds
down and the pest and varmints out!
What should architects, economists and politician all share in common?
Intellectual humility, for our most important ability should be gauging
the scope of our profound
Understanding that any plan is better than no plan, acknowledge the limitation
of our grand blueprints.
Therefore, graciously accept the freely expressed ideas, views and actions
which result in constantly experimentation and improvement that will
ultimately lead to even better and more adaptable outcomes!
What do architectures and carrier choices have in common?
The good ones have multiple choice answers. The real trick is to avoid
the dead wrong ones!
If your VCR still flashing 12:00, your in the wrong line of work!
Wise men know their limitations and understand that built to last means
built to change!
Think long timeline consequences, the next watch will find
simplicity and eloquence as flexible friends whereas unnecessary elaboration
and complexity as brittle foes!
As it is with infrastructure investment like plants and process, so it
is with information system?
You place your informed beats and takes your chances, be careful what you
wish for because it may become true!
If your current position is tenuous or the new truth is prohibitively expensive
to change and doesn't meet tomorrow's needs,
it maybe wiser to rent rather than own!
What can architects learn from the stock markets or animal husbandry?
All systems operate well within an adaptive range?.
So, know what it is and then do something about it!
When mass psychology, emotion and/or exogenous factor drive them out of
bounds, poor behaviour if not catastrophic failure usually ensue!
Real live example of emergent behaviour in action, result 1987 market crash!
Cause, autonomous agents busy at work (program trading)! Smart behaviour,
hardly? Lemmings behaviour, surely!
What can architects learn from internet?
Fast, fat, fit, flexible, forgiving, futuristic and maybe free is sometimes
a better solution the best!.
Adequate with a compelling value proposition, that means elaborate is out
and eloquence is in.
What can architects learn from history?
Quite a lot, for the past is a mirror and window for the future. If the
internet is an echo of the automobile then
profound long term impact on the social, political and economic structure
Therefore just explore, embrace and exploit it where ever it make sense
going. Turning straw into stone into steel!
Think big, start small, be deliberate, with hustle, move early, stay lean,
innovate often, reward stake holders, shun bureaucracy, have fun!
What can architects learn from Boeing?
Success in the plane maker business is about under promising and over delivering,
not the reverse!
What can architects learn from the art part of Lincoln?
you may persuade some of the stake holder some of the time,
you can even persuade some of the stake holders all the time
but can you persuade all of the stake holder all of the necessary time!
- What can modern man learn from medieval theologians?
- Medieval theologians first and last principle was that all knowledge and goodness came from
- our relationships with nature, each other and out tools (technology) and
- therefore all human enterprise must be directed toward the fruitful service of
- What do architects enterprises and John Dewey's children have in common?
- The needs of the child must be addressed in terms of that the child is, not what the child will be.
- You must ask. What does the child need now? What problems must be solve next?
- What do building and system architectures have in common?
- They both reflect our hopes, aspirations and dreams for the future!
- Tell me your hopes, aspirations and dreams and I will tell you about your future!
- If a man knows not what harbor he seek, any wind is the right wind.
- Beware, the difference between vision
is a credible migration plan followed by superb execution!
- Make no mistake, it's 10% vision, 90% blood sweat and tears!
- What can architects learn from the Paul Clements and Clayton Sprung chance encounter on architecture?
- True enlightenment takes place with an interchange of idea's where both
the senders and receivers remain changed forever,
thank you Paul!
- What do architects and CEOs have in common?
- They both earn the right for gainful employment a year at a time,
so keep this in mind when planning! If they can't peddle results, they revert to peddling religion!
is it Rich? Reasoned? Reflective? Relevant?
what do you think?
kind things said
- Thanks for the insights. It was a pleasure to review it.
I found various ideas to be profoundly beautiful and bizarrely entertaining.
Overall, the collection is "mindblowing". Dr. Thomas J. Mowbray, Chairman iCMG, http://www.cmg.nu
- Your list is probably the most realistic look at a tough subject, should be a prerequisite read for anyone entering the EA field.
Dave McAfee, Technical Consultant, EWITA Research http://www.lanset.com/dmcafee
- One of the nicest things you can do for someone is to give them something new to think about.
By that standard, Clayton's collection is architecture lessons is the nicest site on the World Wide Web.
Paul C. Clements Site:
- There has been much debate over the role of the architect (see, e.g., the WWISA discussions on the subject).
The lessons presented here do a good job of presenting in an entertaining way many dimensions of the multi-faceted nature of software architecting.
Dana Bredemeyer, President Bredemeyer Consulting,
- "When people seem to do things that don't make sense it's because of something I don't understand."
--- Gene Bellinger; OutSights, Inc. (creating new insights through outside perspectives)