How can enterprise architecture solve wicked problems?

To many businesses, wicked problems are seen as something to avoid exploring, in favour of simple solutions.

However, with the world becoming more complex and with an abundance of information to consider, maybe it is time to reconsider the methods used to tackle the issues common to businesses.

John Camillus of the University of Pittsburg defined a wicked problem as an issue that causes "confusion, discord, and lack of progress" and doesn't have a clear solution in a May 2008 Harvard Business review article.

According to the book "Dialogue Mapping: Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems" by Jeff Conklin, a combination of wicked problems and social complexity leads to fragmentation.

This forces businesses to view issues in separate parts without identifying the connections that underlie the whole problem. In this regard, information is often seen as chaotic and scattered, rather than interconnected.

Wicked problems are often seen as a negative as there is no obvious solution and the sheer number of seemingly conflicting variants can make any efforts to resolve these issues seem futile. This is where enterprise architecture becomes a vital component in a business. 

 What is TOGAF?

The Open Group Architecture Framework is one of the most trusted enterprise architecture systems in Australia. Leading businesses rely on this system to produce more efficient outcomes in projects from start to finish.

Businesses should avoid over-reliance on linear problem solving.

Separate departments within a business will present different perspectives on the same process and issues. Therefore, bringing everyone together to cooperate on the same project is a major challenge.

However, by building a solid framework that considers a number of variables, businesses can address all the key considerations from separate parties. 

To get the most out of a problem solving system, businesses must not fall into the expected linear pattern of problem to solution. In a TOGAF system, the components are arranged in a way that allows for implementation and data reconfiguration at all stages, rather than following a straight line of development

According to Open Group, the key to the success of this system is the inter-related nature of the various aspects. TOGAF 9 has a particularly comprehensive method of measuring capabilities and KPIs in a way that can deliver solutions to a number of business problems. 

TOGAF can help monitor multiple KPIs in a business.TOGAF can help monitor multiple KPIs in a business.

ITIL knowledge

When it comes to the more intensive issues, combining ITIL training with TOGAF can be critical in addressing business-wide issues, 

A Best Management Practices whitepaper highlighted the strong relationship between these two aspects. Both TOGAF and ITIL have crossovers in the functions they serve. However, TOGAF has a greater bearing in business processes and strategic functions while ITIL covers service delivery.

 Having a strong knowledge of both these frameworks can give your business a balance between the strategic motives of projects and the implementation right up to the end stage.