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Architectural Thinking Framework

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Architectural Thinking comes with a list of ten Architecture Principles that guides the implementation of solutions.

We act sustainable and as ONE enterprise

  • Solutions are built with a company wide focus rather than in business unit silos.

  • Inter-divisional functionalities are implemented in company wide platforms, not in several isolated applications.

Business goals and value streams drive our application landscape

  • We implement the ‘right’ projects - those with business values we believe in.

  • We use structured business analysis, business architecture and innovation methods early in the ideation process.

We focus on simplicity

  • We implement solutions that are as simple as possible.

  • Our applications focus on the essence.

We do not reinvent the wheel

  • We check if existing applications can be reused before implementing new ones.

  • We look for standard solutions before implementing on our own.

We work permanently on making business & IT more flexible to change

  • We reduce technical debt by a ‘managed evolution’ approach.

  • We turn off applications with a bad business value / cost ratio.

  • We modularize our application landscape to keep it agile.

  • We permanently optimize our product/service portfolio for simplicity.

We foster our digital platform

  • Our digital platform is the blood circuit of our enterprise.

  • We enhance it permanently in a way that keeps it agile and easy to extend by new technology innovations.

  • We reduce technology components that are out-dated or redundant step by step.

  • Applications and technology components that are available in the cloud must run in the cloud.

We permanently improve information quality

  • Information is the blood in the blood circuit of our digital platform.

  • We define clear information ownership.

  • We consolidate applications that hold essential information redundantly.

We involve the end users in the ideation of our solutions closely

  • We use innovation and business analysis methods to elicit requirements.

  • We use agile methods and simple diagrams in solution engineering.

We work with a limited number of strategic solution vendors

  • We look for strategic, long-term vendor partnerships.

  • We reduce the number of vendors to less than ten.

  • We try to minimize vendor lock-in.


  1. A very helpful list of intentions, immediately fostering identification by using "We ...".

    However, as these expressions need to be adapted to the individual environment, I'd rather see them as guidelines than as principles.  All of the above guidelines would still hold true, but the focus would be on balancing the benefits instead of adherence to a principle.

    E.g. "... must run in the cloud" would rather say "... prefer to operate in the cloud over on premise". 

  2. Anonymous

    J. Grupp: In the first line "principles that guide", an architectural principle is not a law.

  3. Surely a useful collection of architecture principles. In a few cases, however, I wonder whether the principle is not trivial. A good check is to consider whether to opposite could also be a reasonable principle. For example, the opposite of 'We implement solutions that are as simple as possible.' would be 'We implement solutions that are more complex than necessary', which does not really make sense.

  4. I really like: We implement the ‘right’ projects - those with business values we believe in.

    It shows a commitment to business ethics. My suggestion is to flesh this out a bit more..  maybe: something like,

    We apply principles of good governance of organisations.  

    > It would be a good reinforcement to the 4 R's of governance: Right things, Right Way, Doing it Well, Realising Benefits from it.

    I make this comment because at ATF seems to go above and beyond just market-driven approaches to the state of play of (Enterprise) architecture. This is is important. It is also the foundation of our professional practice and value propositions for our clients.

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