Minimalism wasn’t a real idea — it ended before it started.
Sol LeWitt

It took me a while to realise: Less is more. Now I don’t just mean that in terms of the site design here on my blog but also in general and particularly when you talk about technology.

Why is this important? Because Complex Systems Theory is hard. Most of the time the systems that we interact with on a daily basis are built on years upon years of piecemeal upgrades and updates. A typical example might be seen on your regular trip to the supermarket…

Your average supermarket has operated for 30 plus years and was built on a collection of mainframe and legacy systems that have been gradually tweaked to give the functionality needed by the business at any one time. Years ago, while I was a student, I worked for a major supermarket in my home town as a Customer Service Assistant. One of my tasks would be to refund customer’s money when they bought something that they no longer wanted or had gone a bit off quicker than it should have. In order to do this I would log in to a Windows PC and start up a HyperTerminal session to the pricing system and manually type in the barcode so I could pull up the product details. On this product details page, which I might add was in cool retro ‘War Games’-esque teletype, it would have the manufacturer information and specialised codes I had to then type into the till to offer a refund.

[singlepic id=1 w=160 h=120 mode=web20 float=left] The image to the left here, from Wikipedia, describes how complex systems theory has evolved over the last 70 years.

I may have digressed slightly but the point I’m trying to get to is this, before you even entertain a conversation on technology ask yourself the question: “What do you want to do?”

And you need an answer that, at most, fits in a single paragraph.

So what was the point of all of this? This is about defining Business Capabilities before everything else and they have to be simple, and one of the ways you can do this is with Enterprise Architecture. Over the coming weeks and months I am going to pen some articles discussing various concepts within EA that explain how to do this.

Oh and before I forget, the reason this blog site is so plain is simple. All the others looked a bit blargh. :)