Saturday, February 15, 2020

Design vs. Architecture

Neither architecture nor design are events of creativity but are in fact creative, thoughtful activities that extend over time.
All architecture is design; not all design is architecture. Without architecture, a designer perhaps starts to lose the bigger picture. Without design, the grand plan never gets implemented or is done adequately.

Architecture could be the navigator of strategy management. Design becomes the strategic business driver at a higher level of organizational maturity.

Neither architecture nor design are events of creativity, but are in fact creative, thoughtful activities that extend over time: The fierce competition and continuous disruptions force digital leaders to be proactive and get really creative on how they architect, design, and implement changes to ensure business responsiveness and innovativeness. Successful organizations perceive changes coming and reach the design point with pre-planning and architectural framing, proactively initiate activities, integrate the organizational design into the business process and organizational re-engineering disciplines, to improve business fluidity and responsiveness.

Functions, processes, capabilities, and services are all elements in the Business Architecture that should be catalogized and managed proactively. Genuine design leadership capability is essential and most of the well-planned design activities have benefited from the use of Business Architecture and high-calibrated design teams, take advantage of the new digital tools and methodologies, to enforce creativity and collaboration cross-enterprise ecosystem, and develop the people-centric organization.

The architecture and design are locked in a reciprocal feedback loop, and therefore co-evolve and actual designs have a large emergent aspect: The healthy design cycle is that you design the process, then model, execute, monitor, optimize then again back to design. It is absolutely necessary for leaders to incorporate design thinking as part of the organizational culture. The management has to understand the value of design and put a lot of effort into it. It's a continuous improvement cycle, much like at all stages of the business life cycle, with the goal to improve the business maturity from functioning to delight.

Forward-looking organizations thrive to become customer-centric. The overall design of the organization that matures itself requires deliberate thoughts, architectural planning, and step-wise actions. This involves gaining a deep understanding of the motivational construct of customers by collecting feedback and doing analysis; then, leverages design thinking to become anticipatory of what the customer will likely "want next." The tacit and explicit knowledge and learning from experience are essential aspects, components, parts or facets of the architecture-design feedback loops that drive the emergence, extend through and beyond any chosen organizational boundary. The process, structure, behavior, and self-interest of individuals and groups, all these factors interact in a dynamic for evolving emerging properties to achieve the “art of possible.”

Elevate organizational maturity by design thinking; elevate design by architectural thinking: Business Architecture is the glue to connect business purpose (WHY), strategy (WHAT) and execution (HOW). The organizational design can improve the business maturity from functioning to firm to delight. The distinctive advantage of being design-centric is that you prioritize making things likable rather than just making them functioning. A digital enterprise is never going to be architected and designed like a mechanical system. Look at where the reality is today and where they need or want to be, and look at the gap. People-centricity is a transcendent digital trait and the core of corporate strategy in today’s organizations.

Organizations should leverage design thinking to open the strategic perspective of the business and create innovative products or services that are profitable to your business while being exciting to the users. Designers should work collaboratively to make strategy a living thing. At the strategic level, look at the overall business/operations, understand culture and process. Whether it’s organic or whether there should be a corporate function of organizational design all depends on the nature and culture of the organization, the level of its business maturity, and the extent of rapid changes around the organization.

The architecture captures business insight, design elaborates the elegance of the business. With emerging digital collaboration platforms and tools, high mature digital organizations should leverage design thinking, architectural perspective, and structural methodology to bring up a true delight to users and customers, and ultimately improve business fluidity, adaptability, people-centricity, and maturity.


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