Coherency Management and Innovation

When it comes to innovation then coherency management is an enabling tool. This means that the organization that is aware of the various processes, the various elements and various technologies enables the  apply radical innovation and evolutionary innovation.
Schumpeter was of the idea that the single most important function of the organization was to crystalize the innovation in to products that could be used on the market and therefore can innovation be viewed as specific competitive advantage.
When it comes to coherency management then innovation can both be radical innovation and it can be process innovation.
The difference between radical innovation and evolutionary innovation is that radical innovation is game changing e.g., by creating new business models or new ways to do business. Process innovation is different in the way that the issues e.g., the processes are improved over multiple steps.
Both forms of innovation have their impact on how the organization performs e.g., organizations that have a well developed culture based upon evolutionary innovation often have the ability to perform well within their industry they operate.
Organizations that are able to enable radical innovation are often good to define new products, business models and markets that all in all give them a competitive advantage and thereby they are often able to be the first movers at many markets.

Innovation and Coherency Management

To sparkle innovation there is a need for using the right people for the right positions within the project organization.
Tom Kelley is of the opinion that these profiles should be combined to create HOT teams that truly creates innovations:

  1. The Visionary is the type of person who is able to identify future possibilities (visions) and he is able to recruit the project team.
  2. The Troubleshooter is a person who in way or the other who are able to identify problems internally in the organization and is able to handle all situations that might occur in the project organization while the project is being executed.
  3. The Iconoclast is a person who is able to challenge the current believes of what is right inside the project organization and is able to see possibilities in other paradigms.
  4. The Pulse Taker is a person who is able to work like a hearth does in a human. The person has to be versatile in his or her way of thinking and is able to channelize the “life blood” of the project on to other individuals in the project organization.
  5. The Craftsman is that kind of person who is able to construct prototypes and work around with them to make innovative designs. These competences are vital for any kind of radical innovation.
  6. The Technologist is what many people would call a geek. A person who is dedicated to work with technology and is able to handle complex tasks, uncover and create deeper meaning.
  7. The Entrepreneur is a person who is able to work out with brainstorms, innovation, prototypes and communicate these to other persons.
  8. The Cross-Dresser these kinds of persons who have studied or worked with a totally different form of field then he or she works with today. These individuals make use of their skills to envision new solutions.

This leads to the concept of the maturity of the architectures and thereby the concept of Coherency Management.

The Concept of Coherency Management

Coherency Management deals with the maturing process of the architecture within the organization. The architecture consist of the various layers of the organization which are:

  1. People.
  2. Organization culture.
  3. Organization structure.
  4. Bureaucratic structure.
  5. Process structure.
  6. Information structure.
  7. Technology structure.

The more matured the architecture of the organization is the better the organization will be come to understand the processes, people, information and technology needed to create both evolutionary innovation and radical innovation.
Every organization has an architecture otherwise they wouldn’t be able to operate but there are three forms of architectures. The first architecture is called an architecture before Enterprise Architecture tools were applied and the organization is not aware of how it operates.
The more mature form of the architecture is called the foundation architecture. The foundation architecture is characterized by that the organization has applied Enterprise Architecture tools to the IT side of the organization. The first level of maturity with in this mode of architecture is where the IT structure and information structure is articulated for the enterprise wide perspective.
The second level of the architecture is when the needs of the business is articulated in a methodical way.
The third level of maturity is known by that the business side of the organization makes use of EA tools to identify, analyze and engineer the processes and structures after a methodical approach and after the change process has ended then the CIO takes over and apply the IT perspective.
The fourth and last maturity level for any organization is called the embedded architecture. This form of architecture is characterized by that all processes are aligned and by that there is a great need for design leadership. The design leadership has to create a framework for how the documentation and plans are to be designed. The other elements of the organization such as the Human Resources, annual planning, strategic planning, public reporting makes use of the structured framework and tools of the EA not to mention the that the strategic goal of the business drives the business requirements a and by that  drive the technological solutions.


Gary Doucet et al., Coherency Management: Architecting the Enterprise for Alignment, Agility and Assurance (International Enterprise Architecture Institute, 2009).

Tom Kelley and Jonathan Littman, The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America’s Leading Design Firm, 1st ed. (Broadway Business, 2001). 


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