What do we want from evidence?

Monastery of Hosios Loukas
Monastery of Hosios Loukas

Before i begin to build up a model of what evidence is and what it means for evidence based enterprise architecture i want to consider what we want from evidence. Simply put evidence is something that helps us make a decision, draw a conclusion to approve or disprove something and allow us to move forward. The sources of evidence are numerous i.e. data, statistics, research findings, expert knowledge, observations and verbal facts.

The following questions are a set i have gathered that i think set out some of the issues that the evidence ontology will need to support.

  • How is evidence used in enterprise architectural work and how does it inform architectural design?
  • How is evidence produced and how does evidence influence the architectural development?
  • What are the core methods, skills, and values needed to do evidence-based enterprise architecture or to produce evidence through architectural practice?
  • Does the use of evidence inhibit or enhance the decision making?
  • How does collaboration help to produce and evaluate evidence?
  • How much evidence is enough and what makes it credible?
  • How are the outcomes of work translated so that they can be generalized and used by others?

The other consideration is the need to support the differing evidence requirements at each stage of a decision process. This could include evidence to support the following:

  • Supporting the goal and success criteria
  • Supporting alternatives or options
  • The effects of the decisions on the end goal
  • The effects of the alternatives or options
  • How to avoid evidence overload by providing precision at the information gathering stages
  • How to help consolidate the evidence gathered through ranking or other method to effect the decision

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