What is good enough?

Would you like to climb Kebnekaise, Matterhorn or Mount Everest. Or is it just enough of an adventure to walk the stairs up to Sacré-Cœur and and have view of Paris. 

Depending of your level of ambition, there is is huge difference in planning, need fitness & health for the expedition, equipment and other stuff, i.e capabilities.

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For a trip to Kebnekaise you need regular training and a normal health, but nothing extreme. You need better clothing than a walk in the park, but you can buy the outfit it in a regular outdoor store. It's good if you have been hiking in the mountains before, otherwise you should have a guide. I.e. fairly simple, but not without some preparations.

Remember, it's still possible that something goes wrong and that you have to be lifted from the top of the mountain with a rescue helicopter.

Mount Everest is quite another challenge with a need for rigorous planning, massive preparations for the team and special equipment to survive the harsh conditions. It's also far more expensive compared to walking up to a hill in Paris. 

It depends

What if we compare transformation projects with needed capabilities from an architecture PoV. The project cost intervals are based of Standish Group Chaos papers.

A small development project with a budget < $ 1 M is not so complex and the benefit of architecture is therefore not so high. If the architecture maturity level is on level 1 is this good enough. The disclaimer is no dependancies to other projects or programs. 

When running a project with a budget of > $ 1 M but less than $ 10 M the complexity is a bit higher and you need to have done some preparations beforehand. The limitation is that this project or small program have to reside within one business unit. You have to be on at least maturity level 2 in order to survive a change, i.e. within reasonable budget and timeframe.

If you managing a larger program, or have more than one business unit involved the challenge gets even bigger. Here we talking about $ 10M to $ 100 M budgets and huge changes to both organization and IT-landscape. Without proper architecture support, the chances for success is very very limited. Now are we talking level 3 as a minimum maturity level for architecture. 

The next level is for huge transformation-programs for multinational organizations with a budget of more than > $ 100 M for a long time period. This is when we need to have reached level 4 in the architecture maturity scale. Without this, we can't keep track of changes during a long term.

Finally, level 5 is needed when you are trying to climb seven summits or continuously have to change your global organization and business models. More or less when your are in a state of continuos disruption every year.

Just see the maturity levels as guidelines. They are not written in stone and the are very dependent of the complexity of the organization. 


Don't forget risk management when reaching for the top. What will happen if the weather suddenly changes and the wind increases from 5 m/s to 40 m/s in the gusts?