Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Zachman Framework and Design Thinking

I've posted previously about TRIZ, the method of resolving conflicting requirements and we've explored how similar Design Thinking and Boom's Taxonomy are, but I was introduced to something today that I'd never seen before.  It's called the Zachman Framework;

John Zachman's Architecture of Everything
It's a matix which maps the artifacts of storytelling against the points of view of of everyone involved in the product development process - except the customer/user.

Product Development Swim Lanes

According to John Zachman the framework is; "a theory of, the existence of, a structured set of, essential components of, an object, for which explicit expressions is necessary and perhaps even mandatory for creating, operating, and changing the object (the object being an Enterprise, a department, a value chain, a "sliver," a solution, a project, an airplane, a building, a product, a profession of whatever)".

In other words; a way to describe something completely enough to be able to understand and change it, and therefore be able to control, the process of its creation/manufacturing.

Zachman said; "this ontology was derived from analogous structures that are found in the older disciplines of Architecture/Construction and Engineering/Manufacturing that classify and organize the design artifacts created in the process of designing and producing complex physical products (e.g. buildings or airplanes).

It uses a two dimensional classification model based on the six elements of storytelling; What, How, Where, Who, When, and Why, intersecting six distinct perspectives, which relate to stakeholder groups (Planner, (Business) Owner, Designer, Builder, Implementer and Worker). The intersecting cells of the Framework correspond to models which, if documented, can provide a holistic view of the (business) enterprise".

Apparently Zachman's framework didn't take the world by storm. In 2004, twenty years after it's creation, he admitted that the framework was theoretical and had never been fully implemented, saying; "If you ask who is successfully implementing the whole framework, the answer is; nobody that we know of yet."

Perhaps it would be interesting to add a row, at the top of the matrix, for the end user's "story"?

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