The fundamentals of Enterprise Design – Field Notes: Intersection 2020

This week I’m getting a taste of night-shift and attending Intersection 2020. This conference is aimed at enterprise design practitioners. Now, that may not be a familiar term to many readers, but essentially it brings together multiple areas of practice that touch on how enterprises operate and change themselves. It brings together worlds such as enterprise architecture, service design and business process management.

I am hoping the methods and ideas presented at Intersection 2020 will help me better answer this question:

How do we get the components (people, technology, processes) of our organisations to work together as effectively as possible to produce the outcomes for which the organisation exists?

I approach this question from a human-centred design perspective, whereas many of the organisers for Intersection have backgrounds in the IT-dominated enterprise architecture practice. I am interested to see how these two worlds collide.

This week has a packed agenda on Central European Time. I am switching my personal clock over to make the most of the content being shared. However, if flipping the clock isn’t an option for you, I will be sharing my “field notes” from each session to give you a taste of what I’m learning. Jump to the end if you’re interested in some resources shared during the session to delve further into these topics.



First coffee of the night tuning into Intersection 2020

Basecamp Session 1: Fundamentals

Session Objectives

1. cover the basics of what enterprise design is and what it sets out to achieve

2. get to know fellow conference participants and their background of practice

Key Takeaway

For me, the biggest spark of knowledge in this first session came from Milan Guenther:

Enterprise design seeks to answer the question “What is the actual scope of design that we need to address to get the desired outcome for our organisations?” Paraphrased from Milan Guenther, Parter at Enterprise Design Associates

This was an exciting question for me. The power of a human-centred design approach has produced many amazing products and I have long been curious how this might scale. Can we apply the same principles to the enterprises and institutions? The impact would be huge as so many of us work for and interact with enterprises and institutions every single day.

With designers and enterprise architects often buried within specific departments inside large enterprises like the IT department or the marketing team, the influence of design thinking and architectural thinking is often limited. Milan gave some reasons that will be very familiar to you if you are a designer or enterprise architect:

1. That approach isn’t feasible in our context

2. This solution doesn’t follow the rules for our organisation

3. Your idea is duplicating an existing project or function (which may or may not be achieving it’s objectives…)

4. You need to merge this solution with XYZ

5. The right executive isn’t interested in taking that approach

Elevating design and architecture informed approaches through enterprise design is an opportunity to break design thinking out of a product focus to look at the organisation as a whole. Applying a design approach at this level could drive change that has been impossible to achieve using other methods.

Links I Clicked

The following links and resources were shared during the session that seemed interesting enough for a click:

1. Video: Brave New Work by Aaron Dignan

2. Article: Timeless Tips for ‘Simple Sabotage’ from the CIA

3. Blog post: How traditional funding would ruin something good by Rethinking Service

4. Report: Emergence of the Ecosystems Architect from Deloitte

5. Organisation/Event: Creative Bureaucracy

Where to Learn More

The content from the session today drew on concepts from Intersection by Milan Guenther and Enterprise Design Patterns by many of the speakers behind Intersection.

#conferencefieldnotes #enterprisedesign #servicedesign