How does thinking as an architect increase your chances of being an effective Enterprise Architect?

Thinking “architecturally” will improve your EA career. What is architectural thinking? Is it distinct from other types of thinking? Is it different from systems thinking?

I recently wrote a post for LinkedIn about Architectural Thinking– my theme was that the type of thinking we do and the techniques we use in Enterprise Architecture have a wider applicability in solving some of the dilemmas people face in the modern world. The article starts out:

Architectural Thinking is vital for our 21st century world.

I would go further and say that architectural thinking is critical for the health of our planet and for our survival as a species. If you are wondering “why?”, then I’d like to explain…

Architectural Thinking post in LinkedIn

What I didn’t explain in this post is: What is Architectural Thinking?

Here are some of my thoughts… I’ve tried to focus on the things that make architectural thinking special or distinct. At the same time I’m aware that there are clearly some overlaps with other types of thinking, such as systems thinking, hybrid thinking, or integrated thinking. As ever – I would really appreciate your comments, views, and feedback.

So… what is Architectural Thinking?

Characteristics of Architectural Thinking

  • It is thinking at a profound level about the architecture of a particular domain or set of domains.
  • It is rational, logical and sensible – it can be explained in a lucid and cogent manner.
  • It is explicit – it describes the components, structure and behaviour of the architecture overtly, plainly, precisely, frankly, and openly.
  • It also explicitly describes the constraints and limitations imposed by the architecture,
  • and it explicitly describes the capabilities, opportunities and possibilities enabled by the architecture,
  • as well as any future options that can be built upon the architecture.
  • It takes into account the views and viewpoints of everyone involved with, or affected by, the architecture – instead of only seeing things from a silo or partisan perspective.
  • It has unique techniques, or at least, ones that are not often used in other types of thinking or methods.