Workshop: IT Complexity Analytics and the Snowman Architecture

A live on-line two day advanced architectural workshop with Roger Sessions.

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Upcoming 2014 Workshops

We are tentaively planning on offering the next workshops in March, 2014. If you are interested let us know.

  • United States Optimized Workshop Mondays – GMT 15:00; PT 08:00; CT 09:00; ET 10:00
  • Europe Optimized Workshop Wednesdays – GMT 09:00 
  • Asia Pacific Optimized Workshop Fridays TBD

The workshops start at the times shown for two consecutive weeks. If you are registering four or more attendees, we will schedule a workshop at your preferred time. Workshop size is limited to 8 attendees.

Lectures will take place on GoToMeeting. Lab groups will meet in Google Hangouts. The workshop occurs over two days 1 week apart. Participants can attend any workshop but we have workshops times optimized for the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. The workshops will be small and intimate.

The Problem

Large multi-million dollar IT systems are typically delivered late, over budget, and missing key functionality. Once delivered these systems have scalability, performance, reliability, and security issues. Their fragility makes them expensive to maintain and laborious to modify.

The Cause

Current methodologies for developing large systems are based on three-tier and service-oriented architectures. These approaches work for small simple systems but when applied to large multi-million dollar systems result in complexity nightmares.

As Systems Get Larger, Current Methodologies Lead to Complexity Nightmares

The Solution

This workshop introduces the theory of IT Complexity Analytics and the pragmatics of The Snowman Architecture. Using powerful algorithms from complexity and set theory, large complex systems are refactored into small simple systems with as few cross dependencies as possible. The result is manageable autonomous projects that can be delivered on time, on budget, and finely tuned to the business needs. The delivered systems are naturally scalability, reliable, and fast. Their relative simplicity makes them inexpensive to maintain and easy to modify.

The Snowman Architecture Is Built from Small, Simple,AutonomousSystems That Scale Well

Organizational Benefits

The employees you send to this workshop will help you understand IT complexity, identify areas where complexity is causing problems, measure architectural complexity, propose solutions to existing complexity knots, and design new systems that are smaller, simpler, and better turned to your business needs.


Workshop participants have the option of taking a SIP-AP (SIP Advanced Practitioner) certification exam. Those passing will be granted a two year (renewable) SIP-AP certification. This option is included in the workshop cost. One with a SIP-AP certification is qualified to lead a SIP engagement under the guidance of a certified SIP-M (SIP Master).


The first day of the workshop provides a theoretical background to the practical hands-on design activities in the second day.

Day One: Theory
Understanding Complexity
Case Studies in Complexity Related Failure
Traditional IT Architecture
The Snowman Architecture
Functional and Dependency Complexity
Dependent and Independent Variables
Exponential vs. Linear Behavior
Sets and Partitions
Good and Bad Partitions
Rational, Directed, and Verifiable Methodologies
Equivalence Relations
Synergy as an Equivalence Relation
Anatomy of a Snowman
The Snowman Architecture vs. the SOA
Thirteen Laws of Highly Complex IT Systems

Day Two: Practice
Complexity Maturity Levels
Project Stages
Project Organization
Synergy (Practice)
The Snowman Identification Process
The Snowman Tool
Measuring Complexity
Ten Laws of Snowman Design
Case Study: Home Finance
Case Study: HealthCare.Gov
Case Study: IT Landscape

Hand-on Labs
Introduction to Lab Technologies
Critical Architectural Attributes
Best Practice SOA Architecture
Complexity and the Mental Practice
Functional Complexity
Dependency Complexity
Exponential and Linear Interactions
Error Impact on Partitions
Traditional SOA Architecture
Partitioned Architecture
Equivalence Partitioning Algorithm
Synergistic Equivalence
Conservation of Structure
The Snowman Tool
Snowman Architecture

Your Instructor

Roger Sessions is the world’s leading expert in IT Complexity Analytics and the developer of The Snowman Practice. He consults around the world with organizations struggling with IT complexity. He has written seven books, dozens of influential articles, and given lectures at conferences throughout the world. He has been a guest professor of IT Complexity Analytics at the University of the Andes and a two time keynote speaker at the highly prestigious Gartner Research Board on the topic of IT Complexity Management. His ground breaking work in Enterprise Architecture and IT has earned him recognition as a Fellow of the International Association of Software Architects.

Target Audience

The IT Complexity Analytics and Snowman Workshop is intended for solution architects, enterprise architects, and business analysts with at least five years of experience with large systems.


The cost of the two day workshop is USD 1,800.00 which includes the certification exam.


To ensure a quality experience, a meeting with Roger Sessions must precede registration. Please contact him directly (roger at objectwatch dot com) to arrange this.