The LEA Architecture drawing tools1.0 INTRODUCTION
The most frequent question on Enterprise Topology is what tool do you use to generate these pretty picture? In their mind, the Enterprise Topology must be generated by a complicate computer system or graphic tools. Howerver, to their disappointment, the Enterprise topology is composed manually.
Enterprise topology, similar to geographical survey work or a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, is composed manualy piece by piece. There is no easy way to see the true enterprise big picture because it is the original information similar to geographic survey field note. A Enterprise Topology serve as the input information EA repository rather than a pretty picture generate by complication computer graphic tools.
EA on spread sheet
Spreadsheet can be useful on EA analysis.
2.0 ENTERPRISE TOPOLOGY WORK PLACE
An Enterprise Architect work place is not much difference from a tradition architect office except a drafting table. Enterprise Topology require significant mind work to compose the big puzzle. To compose Enterprise Topology, it require a drawing package on desktop computer; a D size plotter to print out the working draft; a posting area to post the draf Enterprise topology. it is important to look at the draft Enterprise Topology every day to allow the subconscious to work. Enterprise Topology can be composed in parallel at differnt phase; The drawing rack for easy access to the Enterprise Topology packages.
2.1 A drawing on desktop such as the Microsoft Visio
The author has used the Microsoft Vision to compose the Enterprise Topology. The manual drawing process enable the the architects capture the architecture thinking on the drawing pakage freely without complicate drawing skill to hinder the architects creation. Hand drawing carry the human touch which is essential to the communication between the architects and stakeholders in the design process. Mechanically generate drawings which document the architecture design can not replace the hand drawing , it serve the purpose to document the architecture after the fact of the designing process.
2.2 The D size plotter
The Enterprise Topology approach in the last chapter sugget to use hard copy in faciliating human interaction. It is essential to have the capability in printing hard copy of the Enterprise topology. One way to judge the establishment of Enterprise Architecture effort in an organization in the capability of EA is to look for the paper plotter. A serious Enterprise Architecture office usually have a D size plotter to print out hard copy.
Despite the technology evolution, the human specie has not evolved much in the last couple thousand years, the hard copy still the best for human interaction to compose the big picture, induce the hidden institutional knowledge and enable reconciliation over the true enterprise topology. As much as we want to get rid of paper in the information age, the Enterprise Topology approach has found that hard copy still serve as the practical instrument to compose the Enterprise topology because human is still human.
The hard copy Enterprise topology serve as a practical instrument to compose the true enterprise big picture. Most human being only believe what they can see and touch, the hard copy Enterprise topology enable them to comprehend, communicate, and contribute their institutional knowledge toward the Enterprise Big Picture.
2.3 Posting area for subconscious to work
Enterprise Architects need an area to post the draft Enterprise Topology print out to enable subconscious to work. Here is a jigsaw puzzle technique that seems odd, but works miracles. Most people know that the subconscious brain works on problems while we are not actually aware of it. The brain can be encouraged to do this while assembling a jigsaw puzzle. It works best during the middle part of a puzzle when things are starting to take shape, but can be done anytime. The Enterprise Topology display post on the following picture is design by the author for practical need. It work well for architect with limited space. The posting area consist of multiple Enterprise Topology drawing. An architect can work with multiple Enterprise Topology.
2.4 The Drawing rack
One important aspect of hard copy Enterprise Topology is easy access, people can read it any time without turn on the computer and pan and zoom on the screen. Similar the an Architecture office, the Enterprise Architecture office also use the traditional architecture drawing rack to hang the Enterprise Topology packages. It is not the best way to roll the Enterprise Topology drawing package in a tube file, it is difficult to read and struggle to keep it flat.