Requisite Variety

The architect needs to have a variety of skills, ranging from various technical skills relevant to the focus of the architecting work, and “soft skills” in the areas of leadership, strategy, consulting and organizational politics/effectiveness (and all the skills, such as communication and decision making, those imply).

We may think of this as requisite variety of responses to the range of demands and challenges of the role. The concept, of course, refers to Ashby’s use. If you prefer, you can think of this as sufficient or flexible variety or requisite flexibility. That is to say, architects have varying skills, many of which will be differently suited to a given situation, and it is the architect’s flexible ability to bring a suitable set of skills, experiences and insights to bear successfully, that is what is important.

Dana Bredemeyer quipped:

‘when people just have no resources to deal with a tricksy situation, their “clue bucket” is empty.’

We fill our clue bucket as we move through life, but we can be more effective, more discerning, and productively fill our bucket with useful clues. [You know, so you can “get a clue” when it’s needed. This blog will be a space where we all pitch in and help to fill our clue buckets. :-)

More formally, topics will be selected for braod relevance to the role of the architect, encompassing those that fall under the full gamut of leading the creation and evolution of good, right, successful architectures, where

  • good: technically sound;
  • right: meets stakeholders goals and fit context and purpose; and
  • successful: actually delivers strategic outcomes.

Translating business strategy into technical strategy and leading the implementation of that strategy. Applying guiding principles like: the extraordinary moment principle; the minimalist architecture principle; and the connect the dots principle. Being agile. Creating options. Architecting for agility, integrity and sustainability.

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