Here is an interesting thought of a colleague yesterday (Thomas Vermassen – Lead Architect ORES) on documenting IT systems:
You have basically two strategies for keeping your Enterprise Architecture knowledge under control.
The first one is to capitalize on people. If your organization is stable enough you can assign clear responsibilities and you should be able to find the right information by finding the right person.
The second one is to capitalize on documentation. Through deliverables you make sure everything is described as it should be. This is most suitable if you have a high collaborators turnover like when you work with a lot of sub-contractors.
The ideal world is probably to have both.
I’m a deliverable minded person and I so I tend to prefer the second one. I value information sharing as it often avoids job protection and silo thinking. The notion of deliverable is also linked to another value that I like : personal contribution.
Also when the architecture is complex I don’t see how you can just book a meeting with someone in oder for him to explain you the 100 business processes in scope. That must be why clever people write books…