Enterprise Architecture, Design Thinking, as well as Systems Engineering, etc. are methodologies for solving bounded problems. SCOPE complements these methodologies by addressing a common weakness in exploring, questioning, or defining the overall context and scope of the problem space to which they are applied. Overall context and scope are often unacknowledged as even relevant. Failure to make context and scope explicit is a major cause of less than satisfactory results.
A critical part of context and scope are boundaries. Context delineates boundaries, their types and nature (e.g. legal, organizational, jurisdictional, discipline, interfaces,etc.), and how they are crossed. Conversely, boundaries provide context.
An understanding of boundaries and limits among enterprises, systems, and domains is essential for effective interoperability.
The SCOPE methodology allows an understanding of context and boundaries among enterprises, systems, and domains which is essential for effective interoperability. Though interoperability may not be a primary focus of an architecture, investigating potential interoperability with external environments often uncovers issues that would otherwise remain latent.
Conventional wisdom in the internet age is to think big, start small, and scale fast. But what are the answers to
- How big to think?
- How small to start?
- In which directions, how fast, and how far to scale?
SCOPE’s primary focus is on how big to think (i.e. what are the boundaries). But it also provides insights into how fast and in what directions to scale. How small to start is also addressed by SCOPE, but is constrained by resources (e.g. people, technology, money).
SCOPE is not a software tool. It’s a human centered set of structures and interrogative methods for helping stakeholders to discover and expose scope assumptions to each other for discussion.
Success is determined by how well stakeholder expectations are addressed. The stakeholder community has a larger scope than is usually considered in typical design methods. SCOPE can help decide who should be included in the stakeholder community.