Architecture Game Plan

The Dragon1 Architecture Game Plan is a tutorial to show you how to start doing real Enterprise Architecture instead of mainstream Enterprise Architecture. This will lead you to create architecture visualizations that actually are used by stakeholders to manage change.

For some people, this tutorial may not be easy, because it requires you to collect precise and actual data and do some high-class modeling and visualization. But the result will be stunning: stakeholders will use your interactive visualizations to manage change!

A side effect of this tutorial is that it will expose and fill the gaps in the core of your Enterprise Architecture: such as unknown relationships between data, missing ownership, source and status of data, rationalization of concepts and principles, and missing cost and time information on solutions.

This tutorial makes use of the Dragon1 open EA Method and the Dragon1 modeling and presentation platform.

Learning Objectives

  • How to setup or create an Enterprise Architecture with different interactive views (one for every architecture principle)
  • How to have stakeholders (owner/client, management, project steering group, project workers, etc...) use the interactive architecture views to support their decision making
  • Especially how to have managers set goals, check progress and (re)direct projects using the architecture view on their iPad
  • How to use as an architect the interactive architecture views to manage or direct projects
  • How to improve the view based on input from the stakeholders
  • How to create an Artist Impression of the total concept

Start Architecture Game Plan

To create a common mindset we have provided all this Dragon1 theory in the previous paragraph. Now we can introduce the simple Dragon1 Architecture Game Plan. With this game plan, you create a base diagram with many different views, generated from it. These views can be used to manage change by stakeholders.

Here follows the Dragon1 Game Plan:

  1. Compile lists of (current and future):
    • stakeholders
    • their goals
    • and their requirements
    • technology concepts for business processes, applications and databases
    • architecture principles of these concepts for business processes, applications and databases
    • elements* like: business processes
    • and their supporting applications
    • and data(bases)
    • programs/projects
    • their deliverables
    • and their deadlines

  2. Then build an interactive concepts/process/application/data landscape using this data and using the Dragon1 Architecture View Layout.
  3. You create at least one integral landscape, and optionally also layer and domain-specific landscapes.
  4. This landscape will be used as background to visually apply the architectural principles, so you can really see the impact of the change.
  5. Also on that landscape you will draw the goals & requirements on the left-hand side and the projects and deliverables on the right-hand side.
  6. This landscape that shows all the principles at once is your Basic Enterprise Architecture View.
  7. Per Architecture Principle create or generate a specific interactive Architecture View.
  8. With these views, you can manage/direct any program or project with real Enterprise Architecture on your iPad or you can have stakeholders approve of the time/money investment needed for the change per principle.
  9. You can extend the views with a progress bar that you can drag so you can see a time-lapse.
  10. And you can have the stakeholders and project workers access these interactive views on their own iPads.

This of course is a core of an Enterprise Architecture and you may vary as much as you like. For instance not to create an Enterprise Architecture, but to create a business architecture or solution architecture (see EA Framework Diagram).

If you are not able to compile a list, maybe you can try to build the data set in an interactive way, or as an architect you make assumptions and you let the stakeholder know you work with assumptions: use (A) as postfix for data.

dragon1 real enterprise architecture meta model

A meta-model for real Enterprise Architecture. You see how Architecture forms a bridge between strategy and change/transformation.

In this screenshot, you see the terms elements, components, and technical products. In the Dragon1 method, we define that concepts at the logical level consist of elements. Examples of concepts are: Process Orientation, Robotics and Digitization. Business Processes, Applications and Server (without their implementational aspects) are examples of elements. At the physical level, the elements are turned into components. The names should indicate some form of physical/digital aspect like online sales, web app or on-premise server.

It could be that you need to rewrite your architecture principles, compliant with the Dragon1 open EA Method theory, from normative statements to way-of-working statements.

This, so that every principle really describes the way a technology concept works, instead of that the architecture principle is more of an aim or strategic starting point.

An example of an architecture principle as defined by Dragon1 is: By always and only storing data in and retrieving data from source databases, we prevent ever using inconsistent, out-of-date, or false data and thus increasing the quality of decisions because they are always based on higher quality of data.

As we said earlier: no one said it would be easy!

The Architecture Repository

The web application you can best use on Dragon1 to import, enter and enrich data is the Architecture Repository.

The Visual Designer

The web application you can best use to create visualizations on Dragon1 is the Visual Designer.

The Enterprise Search

Once you have created documents and interactive diagrams (visuals) as part of your design, you can make them searchable and findable by publishing them. The stakeholder can log in and use the Dragon1 Search application where, when, and how they like it.

The Viewer

Once you have published the visualizations, the stakeholders can not only look them up via the Dragon1 Enterprise Search but also view these interactively on any device in the Viewer. Stakeholders can slice, dice, change and comment on them.

The Business Analyzer

Sometimes you or a stakeholder just want a simple report, like a table with text and figures. For that, you and the stakeholder can make use of the Business Analyzer.

The Design Sketches

When talking with stakeholders trying to figure out what concepts are needed to fit in the organization or what would address the problem, it is a best practice to sketch them by hand. A concept design sketch is a sketch picture that roughly shows the collaboration of elements (or components) producing a certain desired result.

Note that there is a big difference between a concept as described in the literature and how it can be adopted or applied to your organization. There will always be some significant changes needed to make to the concept. For instance, morphing two or three generic concepts into one new unique concept with a new unique first principle. The target audience for this visualization is the owner/client and stakeholders like directors, top management, and investors. The purpose is to validate and approve the concept.

The Principle Details Diagram

A principle details diagram is a computer-drawn visualization with details about the relationship and collaboration of the elements and components towards producing a certain result. This visualization is a formal diagram, whereas the design sketch is an informal drawing. Furthermore, these two visualizations are almost the same view, only the way they are represented differs. The target audience for these visualizations is the owner/client and stakeholders like the management, project workers, and engineers. The purpose is to direct and guide detailed design and realization and do feasibility studies.

The Artist Impression

What best works for communicating with the most important stakeholder is an Artist Impression. An Artist Impression is nothing more than a coherent set of metaphorical pictures or photos of implementations of the concepts that are part of your total concept. An Artist Impression often shows a lot of situations of interaction with customers at once.

Once special view of the customer interaction is the Customer Journey. This view shows a series of steps that a customer takes from being an unknown prospect via engagement to being a paying customer or service user.

If the metaphorical pictures or photos of the applied concepts are really good, they will show elements and components that are recognized by the stakeholders. Any story they tell to each other or others can pinpoint using the Artist Impression. In this way, you can make the Artist Impression visualization the most used visualization in a program of change.


In this tutorial, various defined terms from the Dragon1 open EA method were used.

For an overview of the core terms of the Dragon1 open EA Method see Dragon1 Glossary of Terms