The Illusion of End State

One of the most popular phrases thrown around by Enterprise Architects and others is “End State”.

This is the perceived “end of transformation” that is taking place. At which point unicorns will roam the earth, the birds will be singing, the bottom line is in great shape, operations are top notch and we are running rings around the competition.

The reality is usually closer to an exhausted project team, disillusioned business stakeholders, a litany of missed targets and promises and the spending of a whole bunch of cash.

“End State” is an illusion. A con. A lazy shortcut. There are no “End States” (unless the business itself is wound up!) only waypoints on the journey.

A strategy needs to be continually evolving - catering for prevailing conditions (which are always changing!) - and the architecture aligned to this strategy also needs to be changing accordingly.

Hence; waypoints. Locations along the journey where we can assess, review, evaluate, effect change, recognise value or course-correct.

Where are we at? Where are we going next? What needs to change?

And keep going. We are never “done” we are constantly learning, changing and adapting.

Throw away “End State” and embrace your waypoints - they will serve you well.