[B] Target Operating Model | 21 Oct 2021

The architectural dichotomy

The construction of a building requires careful thought related to the type of design as well as aesthetical features. The art in bringing all these facets together in essence starts with the concept or idea from the owner or developer, followed by consultation sessions with the architect. The architect gathers all inputs and create the master piece (the blue print and plan) capturing the requirements, needs and wants from the owner and or users. The plan provides design guidance for all construction disciplines to follow, from civils, electrical to the actual construction. The plan is used to depict the construction of the building, and could be referred to as the construction architecture.

The design of an enterprise requires similarly architecture to create the blueprint to guide the design of the enterprise whilst informing or influencing strategic choices and decisions, ranging from investment, capabilities to enterprise governance.

Enterprise design however, needs to draw clear distinction between the enterprise function and enterprise construction. The enterprise function refers to the relationship of the enterprise (provisioning system) with that of its environment (using system) having certain needs and wants. Only through a thorough understanding of the environment construction, for example who the consumer is, or which markets the enterprise operates in can functional requirements and functional architecture be developed.

Firstly, functional architecture will guide and inform enterprise construction, and only through enterprise design will functional properties manifest and be brought to the forward. Secondly, constructional requirements and constructional architecture will guide the design, construct as well as evolution of the enterprise. The functional and constructional architecture combined guide the iterative nature of the design science process. Take a serious look at your enterprise architecture and investigate its origin, who or what informed the architecture, based on which principles or requirements, and lastly does it provide guidance to distinguish between function and construction.

The question is, are you constructing an office block to function as an apartment building?


Andreas de Boer