Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a future classless, stateless social organization. There is very little for one to disagree with this noble goal. The problem arises when one tries to follow the migration path from 'as is' state to this nice and wonderful 'to be' state.
Enterprise architecture seeks to define similar nice and wonderful 'to be' state for enterprise IT and tries to provide a migration plan from seemingly chaotic 'as is' state. Therein lies the similarity and lessons for EA. What are the important lessons to be learnt from failure of Communism?
Centralised command and control alone cannot guarantee results
Enterprise architect sometimes try to rule by diktats. Thou shalt do this and thou shalt not do that... These setting of common principles are necessary. But failure of communism teaches us that a central politburo can command whatever it likes, but things need not happen on ground as per their diktat. At least there is no guarantee that spirit of these principles (diktats) would be observed. With just letter of the diktats enforced, expected results will not follow. So there should not be too much of dictating and whatever is dictated must be governed to make sure that it is followed in letter and spirit.
Evolution, rather than revolution, works
Communist ideologues decided that the current system is too broken to be fixed, hence they advocated a violent overthrow of current system and replacing it with a new (better/improved) system. such a revolutionalry approach did not work in practice. It is indeed nearly impossible to design a system from scratch as replacement of another working system and replace old with
new, in one go. It is more adivisable to chip at problems of old systems, replacing parts of it as we go along. It is also important to keep readjusting priorities as we go along, because nothing in this world is static.
Checks and balances are required in governance
Another ill effect of centralised command and control was corruption and general in-efficiency. The middlemen prospered without adding any value. So a proper set of decentralized checks and balances is absolutely a must for efficient governance. In enterprise IT world, business and IT folks exhibit certain amount of tense relationship. So EA must create a balanced mechanism where both sides are represented and heard, and decisions are made which are acceptable to both parties.Including all stakeholders, is a must for efficient governance. This would insure right solutions get developed and not poilitically correct solutions.
Stakeholders involved must buy into 'to be' state
All communist states had a significant number of capitalist who would never agree with 'to be' state, as stated by communist. So communists could never reach their desired 'to be' state, no matter whatever their migration plan was. Mind you these capitalists were not just ideologically capitalist, rather they had a stake in being capitalist. Pol pot, one of the communist meglomeniac, tried to address the problem by eliminating such dissenters on a mass scale. Even that did not work. So it is very important that a significant section of the bsuienss and IT organisation must buy into the to be state. Without which there will be too much friction and resistance to change. This needs to be remebered in conjuction with item 2 above.
People involved must be able to connect current happenings with 'to be' state.
The empty store fronts and long queues for daily essentials in communist states were not reconciling with tall claims of progress by central politburo. The communists did put man in space, and fired giant rockets. But where it mattered the most, daily lives of their stakeholders, they failed to deliver. Enetrprise architects also fall into similar trap. Having a set of principles, a town plan and what have you, will be taken with pinch of salt by common IT and business folks, unless you show the results on ground. Stakeholders must be able to connect things happening around them to the grand vision of enterprise architects, based on the results they have seen so far.
These are only a few of the lessons learnt from failure of communism, enterprise architects can keep learning from history of communism and make use of it as an effective anti-pattern.