Ever seen a stereogram? Shown in the left there’s an example. It contains hidden (abstracted) visuals. Now try looking to your organization (which might very well be a complex social system) as if it were a stereogram. Now imagine that you are the architect that thinks remodeling or redesigning this organization is a fairly easy job, right? That’s because you abstracted out all social complexity (you didn’t see the real picture in the stereogram). What then remains is a cold, rational model of a lifeless organization. Now that’s very easy to remodel. After all, social aspects are not your problem to solve, right? Well, I don’t agree. Architects should model or design organizations built for human beings first, and not only for organizational models that are mathematically or economically correct. Architecture that was designed for human beings should after all work the best of all. So if you in your architecture work are abstracting out a certain unavoidable complexity (for example social complexity, especially in larger organizations), chances are that your design will be lousy because you distributed complexity in a wrong area (abstracted it “away”) instead of coping with it in your design. By coping with it in your design, you leeave the design complexity to yourself instead of to your customers.
October 16, 2011