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Mythology for Architects

May 2012 Presentation
Arjen Uittenbogaard (Inspearit)

A presentation from the Architect Skills track at SATURN 2012, May 7-11, 2012, St Petersburg, FL.


Software Engineering Institute


The ancient Greek myths about what may have been the first architect of mankind, Daedalus; the biblical story on the effort of building the Tower of Babel; and even fairy tales like "The Three Little Pigs" contain a lot of wisdom that cannot be expressed in UML or BPMN diagrams. If an architect's job is to realize systems that add value, his or her work is not limited to handling hard, technical information. An architect has to communicate, enthuse, and convince, and in the process deal with the emotions and political games this evokes.

Since the dawn of humankind, stories have been the means to deal with these types of complexity. An architect has to be a storyteller. He or she has to be able to find or create the right stories and to tell them effectively. In this presentation, I will tell a story or two about the power of stories for architects. Audience members will go away knowing the value of stories for sensemaking, collaboration, and communication in architecting work.