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Q&A: The Architectural Thinking Association

By September 29, 2019Articles

Wolfgang Goebl

Introduction: In this article, we talk to Wolfgang Goebl, founder and president of the Architectural Thinking Association(R). We discover why the association was started, what it is trying to achieve, why you need to know as an Enterprise Architect, and how you can get involved.


EAPJ: What is the problem the Architectural Thinking Association® wants to solve?

WG: Nowadays, companies need to become more agile in order to compete with disruptive competitors but fail, to a large extent because they are operating on IT-landscapes of out-of-control complexity. The discipline of Enterprise Architecture Management that has always tried to tackle this problem is still practised by a small community in the IT department only, and has almost no impact on strategic business decisions. We see more and more attempts using scaled agile frameworks fail because they are not complemented with pragmatic business architecture practices. 

EAPJ: What is the vision of the Architectural Thinking Association®?

WG: We want to enable sustainably adaptive enterprises by opening the concept of architecture to the business world, focusing on executive management. We want to make business architecture a management discipline that is a natural and integral part of the business world.  

EAPJ: Why is this important for Enterprise Architects?

WG: The Architectural Thinking Association® works hard to make business executives understand what architecture means for the business, why it is mandatory for successful transformation and that they are Chief Enterprise Architects. In the end, EAs no longer have to work against the usual ignorance of their work by business people.

The Architectural Thinking Framework® offers a pragmatic, lean business-oriented framework that includes practical how-to modelling guidelines that have been created by many practitioners – EA’s can benefit from the experiences of other EA’s.

EAPJ: What is the difference between the Architectural Thinking Framework® and existing EA Frameworks?

WG: Existing EA frameworks have evolved out of IT and offer only limited practical advice, and a sometimes bloated “one size fits all” approach. The Architectural Thinking Framework defines a minimalist framework that can be easily integrated into Agile methodologies. It is based on the proven experience of many practitioners in various fields (such as management consulting, EA, business architecture, business analysis, software architecture). Architectural Thinking provides lean but detailed, practical how-to’s that are permanently improved by mechanisms of open participation. 

EAPJ: Who are the people behind the Architectural Thinking Association®?

WG: The ATA is a non-profit registered association according to Austrian law and has no financial interests. Its only goal is to bring the concept of Architectural Thinking to all enterprises in the world. ATA was founded in August 2018 by Wolfgang Goebl in Vienna. After one year, the leadership team has grown to seven members – renowned brilliant people from various disciplines (like Business Strategy, EA, Enterprise Design, Agile development). Our community is growing, therefore we are planning to set up regular memberships and more formal organizational structures in 2020.

EAPJ: Where can readers find more information?

WG: You find an overview of the current draft of the framework and the latest news on Register at the blog to receive our newsletter (quarterly) and Architectural Thinking posts written by members of our Association (biweekly).

We plan to publish an updated draft based on the feedback of pilot users in 2020. Version 1.0 of the Architectural Thinking framework will be published in 2021 in our Wiki and as a book.


Disclaimer: Darryl Carr, Editor of the Enterprise Architecture Professional Journal is a member of the ATA leadership team. There are no financial relationships between Darryl, EAPJ and the ATA.

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