Posts Tagged ‘marketecture’

{Market}ecture vs Central Planning

August 29, 2009 Leave a comment

The term marketecture I got from a clever fellow at Queensland Treasury Corp who responded to one of my posts about applying free market principles to enterprise architecture.

A short time back I wrote about the merits of applying free market principles to Enterprise Architecture rather than the central planning model we generally see.  The premise of the post was, if central planning didn’t work for broader economies, why do we think it’s going to work for our large enterprises?

While I was working at Citigroup in the Global Architecture Team, one of our objectives was to identify duplicate capabilities and eliminate them.  While performing this task, there was a tendency to frown upon the development teams who had built this duplicate capability.  On the surface, this makes sense.  But as you dig a little deeper, you’d often find the duplicate capability had done the incumbant one better (at least).

My worry about punishing the duplication is that we were actually stifling innovation.  Innovation often comes when an ambitious person or team is determined to make things better.  There is almost always an existing capability that will be duplicated.

In the central planned process, only sanctioned or approved innovation can take place.  Those same ambitious innovators above are expected to present their case or idea to some planning committee who will prevent the innovation until they are satisfied it is totally risk free and will result in ROI for the company.

The primary problem with this is, those ambitious innovative types generally detest process and bureaucracy.  Next problem is, we cannot be certain that something innovative will succeed – until it’s been done at least once.

How can we have Marketecture

If we agree that innovation requires the freedom and suffers in a central planning environment, how do we do marketecture in an enterprise?

I think that’s grist for the next post.  If you have any thoughts or comments on this, please post a comment.