Starting again with TOGAF

Some years ago, my career became “managerial” and “consultative”. I was moving away from enterprise architecture. My TOGAF renewal came up and I decided I no longer wanted or needed it. My feeling was that nothing fundamental had changed in TOGAF, it was growing bloated and was serving the architecture training industry better than enterprise architects.

Things changed. I was asked to review a solution, did it meet the long and short term needs of a business. Should the organisation “bet the business” on the solution? Was the solution part of the organisation’s digital transformation?

It was a quick review but it re-awoke my inner architect. I was much more fulfilled by the mental stimulation of architectural thinking. So, I returned to an enterprise architecture role. And the client required that I was TOGAF certified!

Did this old dog’s ego get out of the way and allow me to discover some new tricks?

I decided to buy the TOGAF study guide. I must say that the Open Group website is uninspiring and unattractive, I like to think of enterprise architecture as creative and dynamic helping businesses understand how to change, how to grow, how to create compelling propositions. Did the Open Group website inspire me? No! Staid and old fashioned were the phrases that sprung to mind – I think a refresh was in order to help attract more people into the profession.

However, it was easy to find the self study pack.

A bunch of documents arrived in a zip file. I unzipped it and guess what … two of my pet hates (this isn’t going well, is it?) … the files were in a set of nested directories and the files had names like B180p and N181p. Seriously, have the authors of this study guide ever used a computer? It is painful to navigate up and down a file hierarchy with 18 files in 12 directories where each file has a cryptic name requiring every file to be previewed in order to discover the file you want to view.

Oh and 18 pages of preamble that I don’t care for before I get to Chapter One!

I bought the 505 page study guide so I was determined to study it but I was a little irritated.  Yes, yes, my complaints were trivial and I got over them in seconds but why not make it easy?

I must be positive! I must be positive! I must be positive!

After several weeks of trying hard to read this stuff, I abandoned it and went on a crash course at Firebrand because the client was getting impatient. The course was excellent, I came out with the certificate, I could look the client in eye, the presenter was someone that I vaguely knew and suitably pragmatic rather than a zealot.

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