Factor 5 – Knowledge is designed to explore the balance between information that is stored in an explicit format and knowledge that remains tacit or hidden. A common omission is to manage information about architectures that is explicit and ignore anything that is tacit.

Key questions include:

  • Is the architecture explicit or implicit?
  • What information about the architecture is hidden?
  • Do I know whether any information is missing or not?
  • Is it formal or informal?
  • Can I measure it quantitatively or qualitatively?

In the case of the address, some of the attributive information is explicit, such as the values for house number and street name, but there is no indication of why the information has been provided. Nor do we know the accuracy of the information. The rationale and the accuracy are not explicit.

If the address is the main contact location for a prospective client with a $5million deal, then it is important information. If it was the current address for a prospect back in 1981 it would not be so useful!

A classic piece of hidden information is when a company deals with someone as an individual, but doesn’t realise they also represent an organisation that they would value as a client. Dealings with the individual are not profitable, the company provides shoddy service, loses the individual as a customer, and in so doing, throws away the opportunity to build a highly profitable relationship with the organisation.

Using this factor is often the quickest way to discover opportunities to make better use of information, or to rapidly improve the architecture.

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