John Zachman, Edward de Bono and the Art of Presentation

What is common between John Zachman (who created the field of Enterprise Architecture) and Edward de Bono (who originated the term Lateral Thinking)?

Both of them are now septuagenarian and have been pioneer in their respective field – but that is not what I am talking about.

Recently, thanks to Sunil of iCMG, I had the opportunity to meet John Zachman in an evening event. There I learned that he uses the old fashioned transparencies and overhead projector for all his training programs. In a way it is apt as one of the key points that he makes in an EA training is that Enterprise Architecture has very little to do with Information Technology.

Couple of years back Edward de Bono was in India and he handled a program for our organization. He also believes in transparencies and overhead projector. Here is a picture which I picked up from Wikipedia:

Edward de Bono (from Wikipedia)

Some months back I had delivered one hour talk without the aid of a Power Point presentation. Though it went off quiet well, I never tried it again.


Some of you would never even have seen an overhead transparency projector and cannot imagine using. Some veterans like me would have started with overhead projector and later on would have found power point handier. The main reason, off course, is:

Only a handful like Bono & Zachman would have perfected the art of presenting using transparencies and would never have felt the need to switch. Possibly, what they say how they say has remained almost unchanging.

BTW: An interesting discussion on “This is what is killing Enterprise Architecture… ” is happening in the linked in group . It is a lively debate and there are more than 450 comments. Apart from the fact that many of the comments were posted because of a lack of understanding of what Enterprise Architecture is, the crux of the debate revolved around how critical is information technology for Enterprise Architecture. One of the starting points of the debate is:

“…Enterprise may elect to use information technology as an implementation option but the Enterprise can also be implemented with pencils, paper and file cabinets …” quote from John Zachman

Though, in theory, IT is not important, in practice not many of us will actually attempt it? Will you formulate the Enterprise Architecture in the same way without taking into consideration how IT is going to be used?


3 Responses to “John Zachman, Edward de Bono and the Art of Presentation”
  1. Lata says:

    Very difficult to conceive Enterprise Architecture without IT.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] of een flip over is voor de geoefende tekenaar tekenen de manier om een verhaal te brengen. Presentaties van De Bono bestonden uit De Bono die principes rond creativiteit toelichtte en daar symbolische tekeningen bij […]

  2. […] in today’s fast passed, complex world? It is like the statement from John Zachman – You can run an enterprise with pencils, paper and file cabinets – reality in the past; unthinkable […]

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