Month: May 2009

Game Theory : The essence of Enterprise Architecture is about establishing a “Dominant Strategy”

There is Darwinian in the below idea; however more congenial idea is Generative having more systemic congruent results

Same ideas can be repurposed in a better way.

The essence of Enterprise Architecture is about establishing a “Dominant Strategy”, that best achieves ‘economy of scale’. The economy of scale will apply to each of the architecture design decision selected. The set of design decisions that leads the architecture planning from strategy to tactical and from tactical to execution needs to converge to a dominant strategy engaging all the stake holders led by a cohesive mechanism of Governance.

Note: EA is about discussing the largest picture of the enterprise. Hence, any decision made must ensure that it lends sufficiently across the enterprise while increasing its “reuse”. This means ‘economy of scale’. All decisions, including the technical design decisions must yield a better ‘return on investment’ from optimized ‘performance vs cost’ perspective.

The main goal of the Governance, is to lead the dialogue that an enterprise riddled with complexities is engaged in,  towards a –“Dominant Strategy”. In many ways the array of events that Governance trigers, while working towards converging the decisions to a cohesive set of results, is similar to the behavioral probabilities  studied in Game Theory.

When a system is riddled with constraints, especially when  ‘money’ as  a resource is scarce, then it dominates the decisions needed to achieve the strategy. A system’s behavior  is governed by both micro and macro considerations. There is a threshold until which the system is probabilistically stable and is not affected by the micro behavior. After a certain threshold the micro behavior is unable to sustain the desired macro outcomes.

When Scarcity arises – Economics is Hot

Dominant Strategy

A strategy is dominant if, regardless of what any other players do, the strategy earns a player a larger payoff than any other. Hence, a strategy is dominant if it is always better than any other strategy, for any profile of other players’ actions. Depending on whether “better” is defined with weak or strict inequalities, the strategy is termed strictly dominant or weakly dominant. If one strategy is dominant, than all others are dominated. For example, in the prisoner’s dilemma, each player has a dominant strategy.

Introduction to Game Theory

Enterprise Architecture – Fifth Discipline


A calm élan – Architect.

Self Discipline critical to Personal Mastery

Self Discipline critical to Personal Mastery

Cardinal to be successful in the Enterprise Architecture area is – Personal Mastery. Like a lone Samurai one has to wander from project to project with the best intension in heart and mind. Each project with its accompanied defeats and successes comes experience that influences ‘Learning’. It is this learning that over the period of time imparts one with mastery of the subject. Most importantly all architecture related discipline can only be acquired by experiential learning. Nothing can replace experience. It is the only way to know what is salt , what is sugar, and also what is dope, when they all appear as mere white powder. And, yes EA area is full of dope. One should hazard its masquerading appearances.

With Personal Mastery comes awekening, this brings in Compassion. All these together will make one become ‘Extraordinary in an Ordinary World’.

Without ones personal usefulness there is no team work. As team work pre-supposes ‘Collaboration’. That means each member needs to bring something valuable that is intrinsic to the subject. This is not a schmoozing game.

In the following duel which is the last scene from movie Samurai Trilogy. The protagonist in the movie begins as a clumsy idiotic village bumpkin. And, he traveling through the experiences of life accompanied by human travesty learns the art of Samurai for which he has deep reverence. The constant learning of this art guided by the noble virtues of the Buddha’s teachings he emerges as a Calm élan Swordsman with compassion for his fellow men. The culmination of his mastery as a Samurai is depicted in the last duel rather very majestically. In the duel the presentation of the mastery is much filled with aesthetic sense, that the most able opponent is overcome by the  unseen deft handling  of the sword. In all awe for the Master Samurai and his swordsmanship, the vanquished warrior falls to his ever lasting sleep. The contrast between the warriors is worth noting that one is a highly schooled in one of the best traditional system, while the other is tamed by the rough edges of the experiences that the life had to offer. It was the ‘experience’ that although ruthless endowed  the wandering idiotic nincompoop with mastery of Samurai, rendering him into a Calm élan and an Aesthetic fighter.

The Five Disciplines

The five disciplines of the learning organization discussed in the book are:

Chasm in Federal Enterprise Architecture : FSAM & FEAF – The dilemma of divisive decisive


The Chasm between FEAF & FASM

Following Questions arises between FEAF and FSAM :-

Does the above questions make Federal Enterprise Architecture a boon or bane?

First of all “Segment” definition seems to be seriously flawed and riddled with “empirical dilemma” because of which it renders itself not anything architectural. It has confusing classification scheme that seems to follow no construct nor order. Schemes like this when applied to investment profiles, they seem more like apparition than anything real meaningful numbers on the Federal IT Dashboard.

Also, it seems that there is unconscious fascism, underpinning the modality of bringing together people (architect ?? ) to define ‘The Federal Segment Architecture Methodology’ (Architecture??). Many times in such scheme of thing certain locational existence gives people “power” not necessarily genuine “purpose”. This provides authority to a certain group of people, who have no real cause nor motivation ‘Serving the Citizens’ in all humility.


The term fascismo is derived from the Italian word fascio, which means “bundle” or group, and from the Latin word fasces; a fasces was a bundle of sticks used symbolically for the power through unity.[21][22] The fasces, which consisted of a bundle of rods that were tied around an axe, were an ancient Roman symbol of the authority of the civic magistrates; they were carried by his Lictors and could be used for corporal and capital punishment at his command.[22]

Furthermore, the symbolism of the fasces suggested strength through unity: a single rod is easily broken, while the bundle is difficult to break.[23] This is a familiar theme throughout different forms of fascism; for example the Falange symbol is a bunch of arrows joined together by a yoke.[24]

FSAM EA Assessment Version 3.0 – Revisions / Changes

Emphasis On Results

Emphasis seems to have moved towards Outcomes / Performance achieved as a consequence of an integrative approach- EA – CPIC – PMO, rather than mere architecture work-products (artifacts). Most importantly the revised FASM seems to arrest the OMB submissions by the agencies that masquerades in meeting the compliance while the enterprise architecture integrity still remains grievously in the lacking.

EA – PMO – CPIC Integration

Unless agencies strives in working as a collaborative unit while relying on a coherent governance that is built around sound integration of EA, CPIC & PMO no clear picture can ever be achieved. Especially, all the efforts in determining the ‘Total Cost Of Ownership’ for the prioritized businesses needing IT enablement will end in inevitable futility.

More Frequent Monitoring By OMB

OMB in the proposed revision will be monitoring the EA assessment submissions more frequently. Earlier only one submission a year was needed, now it will be necessary to submit 4 times a year. What does this mean? more paper work (defeats the very purpose of eGov 🙂 ). Should EA repository achieve architectural integrity, reflect accurately the state of the project and change management is efficiently maintained, then frequent submission will no more be a challenge . If inherently EA is in the lacking, then all efforts including the increased frequency in conducting EA assessment will fail in arresting the the inherent atrophy. When one begins to designs in quality, then testing and assessment will prove to be redundant functions.

Assessment of Target Architecture under FSAM

Assessment of Target Architecture under FSAM

EA Assessment requirement under new FSAM

EA Assessment requirement under new FSAM