Solutions Architecture Framework (SAF) - (a KM Design Thinking Framework) #design-thinking

Frank Guerino

Hi All,

For those of you interested in topics like Design Thinking and KM frameworks, the article “Solutions Architecture Framework (SAF)” provides an overview of the framework used by Solutions Architects, Enterprise Architects Business Architects, Management Consultants, Engineers to identify complex problems, analyze them, and get to viable solutions.

Variations of this type of framework have been successfully used and validated by Management Consulting firms for many decades.  What makes this type of framework different than most other Design Thinking Frameworks (DTFs) like IDEA and Double Diamond are things like:
  • The SAF requires the problem solver to address many different and explicitly defined problem areas (explicit dimensions and concerns).  Most DTFs do not require such rigor.
  • The SAF offers a vast portfolio of tools and templates used to capture data, analyze it, get to decisions, plan for work, etc.  Most DTFs come nowhere close to this.
  • The SAF forces its users to create a clearly documented Current State, Future State, and Transition Roadmaps and Plans (i.e. What it takes to move from CS to FS).
  • Using the SAF creates high levels of repeatability and reusability (e.g. Artifact Reusability, Data Reusability, Decision Reusability.).
  • Using the SAF creates a framework for Knowledge Collection, Documenting, Integration, and Roll-Up, where data from many SAF engagements can be rolled-up to massive Knowledge Repositories and leveraged for reuse.  In other words, in a larger enterprise where many people are using the framework (with standard tools & templates), all artifacts act as continuous data collectors and integrators, back up to the master Knowledge Repository.
  • Due to its high levels of repeatable rigor, the SAF helps establish higher levels of solutions clarity and probability of success than do most other DTFs.

Why this is important to the KM Community and KM Professionals: The KM community is constantly looking for frameworks and tools that are considered highly repeatable and that lead to high confidence decisions.  There are very few frameworks and tools that will achieve this.  Due to its high levels of use and validation, over many decades, the SAF is one of the rare few that does achieve these things (assuming it is properly applied).

NOTE: While they haven’t been “polished” for final release yet, I will happily share our SAF Templates with anyone in the KM community who might be interested in them.  Warning: The bundle is very large.

I hope you find the materials useful and worth sharing.  I’m happy to discuss any opinions, thoughts and feedback you might have on the topic. 

My Best,

Frank Guerino, Managing Partner
The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT)
1.908.294.5191 (M)

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