EDGY is Intersection Group's Open Source tool designed to help people create better enterprises. It consists of a set of components connected by a common language people from various disciplines can relate to and use to engage in co-creative enterprise design. This first release "EDGY 23: Language Foundations" defines this common language, designed to connect people and their perspectives, disciplines, conversations and negotiations.
The EDGY language provides a set of concepts (facets, enterprise elements and relationships) and their visual representations to help co-design, explore, visualise and share your understanding of enterprises. It is based on decades of enterprise design practice and inspired by enterprise modelling languages and notations such as ArchiMate® and the FBS Ontology design theory (see references).
EDGY aims to lower the threshold for people to join in and become co-creators of the better enterprises we want to see in the world. That is why we have kept the EDGY language simple, colourful, and aesthetically appealing, yet powerful enough to explore and visualise the full complexity of the enterprise. The EDGY language is not meant to replace all the highly specialised languages and modelling standards already in existence, but to complement them with a language that is inviting and rewarding to use and encourages exploration, co-creation and conversation.
What makes EDGY different?
- EDGY is simple, so everyone can quickly become familiar with its structure and meaning.
- EDGY is beautiful, to make it appealing and comfortable for people to work with.
- EDGY is based on elements and relations to allow to explore and design the dynamics and dependencies of all relevant parts of the enterprise.
- EDGY is general-purpose to keep the conversations broad and to encourage more specialised languages to hook into it to provide the required specificity when needed.
Our aim is to help you create better enterprises and we hope EDGY does just that. EDGY is a work in progress and will keep on evolving through its annual releases. Over time, Intersection Group will provide a growing collection of tools based on the EDGY language - starting with enterprise design boards to be released with EDGY 24: templates for visual representations of cross-facet elements and relationships used to collaboratively explore the enterprise and its ecosystem.
EDGY 23 is the co-creation of many collaborators. We hope you will become one too, when you take EDGY into the field to test it there. The more you use it and share your feedback, the better we can fine-tune it to your needs. As you keep working on creating better enterprises, we can all keep working on a better EDGY. We also encourage thought leaders and practitioners from surrounding disciplines to incorporate the EDGY language in their tools and methods and connect to a growing EDGY practice.
There are many isolated design disciplines (such as user experience designers, enterprise architects, organisational designers, entrepreneurs) that attempt to cover the whole range of design from exploration, communication to specification. Each of them uses highly specialised tools and languages, accessible only to the specialists. They seldom connect to each other, causing gaps and contradictions, resulting in weak and fragmented overall enterprise designs.
This is why EDGY provides a language that encourages specialists and experts to explore and communicate together to enable a coherent enterprise co-design.
Human communication did not evolve to be rigidly precise and correct. Human language is ambiguous and often vague and shifting in meaning. Though we need more precise and well-defined languages when designing enterprises in detail, such rigid languages can easily discourage people to participate in a co-design process.
This is why EDGY provides a simple, natural language that co-designers can relate to. It is flexible enough to leave space for people to interpret and extend it with their own elements, so they can focus on what makes the most sense in their design challenge.
The more specialised and precise a language becomes, the more it becomes bounded by the domain it is designed for. This makes it hard to connect to insights from outside that limited domain, strengthening the silo effect.
This is why EDGY is a language that is broad enough for all disciplines to hook into so they can tie their specialised insights into the holistic top-level views that hold them together.
Humans are particularly good at using symbols to express complex ambiguous concepts in a concise way. Using symbols encourages creativity and serendipity, especially in the exploration and communication phase of enterprise design.
This is why EDGY is deliberately kept simple and graphical, so it can be used as a medium for creative collaboration between people from many different disciplines.
Who is EDGY for?
We've created EDGY for anyone in the enterprise who is involved in co-designing parts of it.
If you call yourself a user experience designer, business architect, enterprise architect, business analyst, business designer, organisational designer, solution architect or similar — EDGY is for you.
The EDGY language fosters co-design and builds bridges between different viewpoints of those disciplines and thereby helps decision-makers to achieve clarity about the changes they seek to realise.
Curious? Learn more about how to get started with EDGY.
Who contributed to EDGY?
Compiled, written and curated by: Bard Papegaaij, Wolfgang Goebl and Milan Guenther
Art direction: Dennis Middeke
Home artwork: Fabio Catapano
Home illustration and visualisation: Alexandre Simon
Book / PDF version design and layout: Nadine Rotem-Stibbe
Animations: Hubert Forgeot
Web design and development: Jean-Sébastien Daigle, Matthias Dunker and Milan Guenther
Thank you to our reviewers and contributors: Andre Vidigal, Annika Klyver, Antonio Bruno, Arian Jacobs, Enrico Levesque, Eric Letarte, Flavio Fabiani, Goh Hirose, Helgi Björgvinsson, Igor Arkhipov, Jason Baragry, Jean-Baptiste Sarrodie, John Mortimer, Karl Walter Keirstadt, Kine Olsen, Lisa Woodall, Lyronne Rangan, Marc Lankhorst, Oliver Cronk, Pascal Dussart, Richard Thackeray, Robert Pike, Roger Stoffers, Tom Graves, Tomomi Sasaki, Tony Benedict.
EDGY is Open Source content published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license.