Using the Viable System Model as a basis for an Enterprise Architecture Framework
18 March 2009
I sometimes describe Enterprise Architecture as a realisation of the System 4 (focusing on strategy/future/intelligence) in Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model (VSM). Or as a combination of System 4 and System 3 (focusing on Audit/control/governance). This reference to VSM doesn’t work so well as unfortunately as most people are not familiar with Stafford Beer’s work and will just give you a blank pitying look… but I think it is a good approach to consider.
For more info on VSM look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viable_System_Model.
I created an EA framework based on the VSM a while ago, but have not yet found a client that was interested in using it. If anyone is interested then you can see this at http://iea.wikidot.com/vsm and download a spreadsheet version.
Tom Graves has also done some intersting work in this area, linking Services to VSM (http://www.tetradian.com/download/tet-vsm.pdf).