We have kept EDGY as simple as possible, but no simpler than that. That means there are some things you need to know and study before you can start using EDGY in real-life situations. This getting started guide outlines the basic steps we think are necessary for aspiring EDGY practitioners to get up to speed and become true EDGY virtuosos.
Read the manual
We know many (maybe most) people seldom read manuals. What is more fun than taking a new shiny toy for a spin straight out of the box to see what it can do? And you are, of course, free to do the same with EDGY. But we have to caution you: EDGY is built on a foundation of definitions and assumptions we think you should be aware of before you start. Those foundations are explained in the following sections:
Once you have worked your way through the foundations, you can start with reading the full specifications, which can be found here:
We advise you to take your time to absorb the information you find there. It's probably best to take plenty of breaks in between sections, to give yourself the time to reflect on what you read and let it sink in. Whilst it makes sense to read the specifications at least once, to get an idea of what EDGY contains and how it hangs together, these sections work best as reference material, to go back to when actually working with EDGY in an Enterprise Design context.
Familiarise yourself with the examples
Examples are a great way to test and refine your understanding of the EDGY concepts. The EDGY documentation is full of examples, some imaginary, some taken from real-life situations. Moreover, EDGY uses a fictional enterprise to illustrate the concepts throughout this documentation: Intersection Railways, a formerly public railway operator from a small European country.
We suggest you study them to see if they make sense to you. If they don't, revisit the concepts in the documentation, or reach out to others (including us at Intersection Group) to ask questions and share your observations.
Start using facets in your daily conversations
To get a feel for how the facets help to create better enterprises, start trying them out in the conversations you have when working on the enterprise design challenges your are facing. EDGY was specifically designed to facilitate conversations and visualisation, and the best way to discover how to use EDGY is to bring it into your daily conversations and to practice expressing what you explore and discover using the EDGY language.
Don't eat the whole elephant at once
We suggest you start your use of EDGY by applying to a small, relatively familiar part of the enterprise you are working for and on. Expressing something you have a good understanding of already to see how that looks using EDGY is a good way to practice. It helps you become more confident over time, preparing you to tackle bigger, less familiar enterprise configurations as your fluency in EDGY grows.
Get the tools
EDGY 23 provides a collection of tools, both our own and links to those made by others. Those tools help you with facilitating workshops, modelling EDGY diagrams or storing your enterprise elements in a repository. All enterprise elements depicted as maps in PNG format in this wiki can be opened and edited in diagrams.net/draw.io, a free online diagram editor.
More and more tools will be made available over time, we encourage you to download them and try them out to see what value they add to your work.
Join our community
Intersection Group is not just the creators of EDGY, they are also a vibrant community of people interested in furthering the field of enterprise design. Joining our mailing list and slack channel (intersection.group/about/join) helps you stay informed on leading edge discussions, experiences shared and explored by others, early versions of EDGY and EDGY tools, information about webinars, seminars and publications, ... But we also invite you to become an active co-creator of the EDGY language and tools. As a member, you can add your own insights and experiences to the conversation. You can participate in reviews, submit your own examples, ask questions and propose features and modifications. In the true spirit of co-creation, you can be a contributor to this exciting field.
Think big – start small
When you are just getting started using EDGY, don't rush straight into applying to your most complex, mission-critical assignments. There is a learning curve, even to EDGY, which means you could get things wrong before you start getting them right. Start with something small that will not bring the house down when you get things wrong the first time round. Alternatively, find yourself an experienced mentor to work with and learn from. They can provide a safe space for you to work in, and show you how apply your EDGY skills to the complex real-world challenges of enterprise design.
Practice, reflect, refine, share, learn and practice again Learning to use the EDGY language, like any learning process, is an iterative journey. You study the theory, you try things out, reflect on how well that worked out, refine your understanding and approach, and try again. To deepen your understanding and accelerated your learning, we also encourage you to share your experiences with others. Getting a second opinion is the best way to overcome your own blind spots and uproot some of the assumptions and biases that may hinder your progress. Learning from and with others is a great way to become a true EDGY master and advocate in one go.
Finally, never stop learning and never stop practicing. There are always news details and subtleties to discover and apply. As your understanding and experience develop, so will the ways you can apply EDGY to the design challenges you are facing.