Enterprise Architecture Planning

Comprehensive Enterprise Architecture Sample

CIOs can gain a lot from the experience of their peers. For instance, practical examples of enterprise architecture in action can help guide your own program.

Toward that end, this week, we are referring you to an excellent enterprise architecture planning sample. This EA supports one of the most complicated organizations in the world. Their experience developing and using this architecture can be of help to your own EA initiative.

Download EA Sample

e-Book: Guide to Enterprise Architecture Planning

It doesn’t matter how many times one repeats this because it is not enough! Enterprise Architecture is not an end in and of itself, it exists to create business value. Enterprise Architecture is not an island, it must connect with other disciplines to achieve results. CIOs can use some timely advice on understanding these two things.

Toward that end, this week, we are referring you to an excellent discussion on enterprise architecture planning that will help you understand the EA value connection and the deep links it has with IT Strategy and IT Governance among others.

e-Book: Guide to Enterprise Architecture Planning

Managing Enterprise Architecture for Value

The objective of governance is to ensure delivery of business value. Enterprise Architecture Governance aims to do just that – ensure delivery of business value through an enterprise architecture program. CIOs need to work with their business partners in identifying business objectives and ensure their delivery using an enterprise architecture program. This periodic assessment is part of a continuous process, conducted by a disinterested third parties, and results communicated to key stakeholders. Most importantly, mid course corrections made to both the EA initiative and all programs downstream.

This week, we are referring you to an excellent report that details an enterprise architecture assessment that can help you devise a program that works for your organization.

Enterprise Architecture Maturity Assessment Example

e-Book: A Guide to Enterprise Architecture Planning

There is enterprise architecture. Then, there is practical enterprise architecture. The former is charts and graphs. The latter is business value delivered on a platter. CIOs must learn how to distinguish between the two because they are deceptively similar – both produce pretty deliverables but only one can get you IT ROI. It is more an art than a science to get this right. However, you have to continue to learn the difference.

Toward that end, this week, we are referring you to an interesting discussion on enterprise architecture. One that does the usual – explain enterprise architecture concepts – and then goes beyond – how does today’s environment connect with them? For example, how has cloud computing changed the practice of enterprise architecture?

Download e-Book

Sample: Enterprise Architecture Standards

Interoperability is one of the key values delivered through Enterprise Architecture. Standards are the key to interoperability. CIOs must understand the value of standards, how to set them, how to communicate them, and most importantly, how to enforce them.

Toward that end, this week, we are referring you an a comprehensive example of setting technology standards. CIOs can use this as a template to create standards for their organization. More importantly, you can understand what it takes to create interoperability in the enterprise.

Sample: Enterprise Architecture Standards

e-Books: Comprehensive Enterprise Architecture Framework

A Framework facilitates the development of an integrated, consistent, complete and communicable Enterprise Architecture. All four conditions are key to the effectiveness of an enterprise architecture i.e. one that produces value. Caveat: a framework is only as good as its implementation.

From Zachman to Togaf and everything in between, there are many good EA frameworks a CIO can choose from so which one is the best? That is the $64,000 question. Should we use an off-the-shelf EA framework or develop one from scratch. That is the question that determines success from failure. How? As CIO, you must understand your enterprise to answer this question correctly. One size does not fit all. Reinventing the wheel is a fool’s errand. Now, you chose which of these cliches drives your decision. In the interim, we have work to do.

This week, we are referring you to an in-depth – touches all key points in an enterprise architecture – enterprise architecture framework developed (almost) from the ground up. This can help you understand key features of an enterprise architecture, how to adapt a framework to your specific needs, and for some a ready to use EA Framework – of course with modifications.

e-Books: Comprehensive Enterprise Architecture Framework

How Enterprise Architecture Drives Business IT Alignment

There are many benefits to enterprise architecture planning but, arguably, it’s biggest value proposition is the role it plays in aligning information technology strategy with business strategy. The IT Value – return on investment – equation is fundamentally different with a well thought out EA than without. CIOs should understand this connection to make use of this irreplaceable tool.

Toward that end, this week, we are referring you to an excellent discussion on the relationship between enterprise architecture planning and IT Strategic Planning.

How Enterprise Architecture Drives Business IT Alignment

How does Enterprise Architecture add value?

There are many benefits to enterprise architecture planning but, arguably, it’s biggest value proposition is the role it plays in aligning information technology strategy with business strategy. The IT Value – return on investment – equation is fundamentally different with a well thought out EA than without. CIOs should understand this connection to make use of this irreplaceable tool.

Toward that end, this week, we are referring you to an excellent discussion on the relationship between enterprise architecture planning and IT Strategic Planning.

Hope you find it helpful in your journey!

How Enterprise Architecture Drives Business IT Alignment?

Enterprise Architecture: Certify This!

EA movie promo: In a world full of mistrust and hate, one man’s fight for justice. Certification – now playing in an IT Organization near you.
There are more people practicing IT without a license than psychics in America. There is more quackery in Enterprise Architecture than gurus and swamis in India. So how do you separate the wheat from the chafe? How do you present your credentials with confidence and get the respect you deserve as a practitioner?
That, unfortunately, is the $64,000 question in most things related to the IT profession. Enterprise Architecture is no exception.
Often, the response in such situations is certification. Certified public accountants. Certified financial advisors. Certified IT security experts. Certified this and certified that. If certification and degrees could absolutely portend the capability of an individual how do you explain a Harvard MBA bankrupting America the way he is? How do you explain “board certified” doctors who leave scissors in patients’ stomachs? How do you explain Enron?
The list of certifiable blunders is as long as certified professionals. Nothing, in my opinion, is a guarantee of capability in complex fields such as IT – Enterprise Architecture does not lend itself to this solution any more than anything else.
Then we fall back upon “experience.” People look for past accomplishment as a gauge of future results. Nothing could be more dangerous. History is replete with examples of “experienced” professionals making a mess of things they profess to have “extensive” experience in. A Robert McNamara – who, apparently, also had an 800 on GMAT – gave us Vietnam. A Dick Cheney has given us Iraq. In IT experienced professionals have given us a 50%+ waste in ROI – with no end in sight.
I have seen some real tools who pass themselves off as Enterprise Architects. They are no less in numbers than tools who pass themselves as CIO! We all have to do what we have to do to make a living so I do not hold anything against them. It is the rest of us who have to wake up and take notice – protect ourselves from these monkeys with swords at the same time make sure than their incompetence does not reflect on or diminish our capability and accomplishments.
As a CIO, before you hire or promote an Enterprise Architect, you do not have a choice but to look at some certification or experience but do not take them at face value – “trust but verify.” Probe the certification. Challenge the experience. Most importantly, do not “fire and forget” – evaluate on the job performance; link pay to performance; stop disasters before they happen. Yes, governance is the name of the game here too.
As an Enterprise Architect you may not have an option but to get certified. You are what you eat so your experience is also very important. But do not live on your past laurels – insist on mechanisms that keep you honest. This is not an issue of trusting you. It is an issue of protecting your investment in your career.
An open, honest governance process, linked to employee performance evaluation process, that monitors and controls Enterprise Architecture – including the Enterprise Architects – is in the best interests of the CIO, Enterprise Architecture professionals and most importantly the shareholders in the corporation.

So you want to be an enterprise architect?

Does the Enterprise Architect role require some critical skills? What are they and how are they any different from those required by other roles?
As Shakespeare would put it: Some are born enterprise architects, some achieve enterprise architect status and some have enterprise architecture thrust upon them!
In my travels I have come across Enterprise Architects from all three realms. Never thought any path was better than the other. But I believe that there are there skills that all Enterprise Architects must possess in order to be successful?
The five skills I think are essential to the success of any enterprise architect – no matter how you got to the position – are:
1)      Business
2)      Technology
3)      Communication
4)      Consulting/Advising
Business skills are critical to understand the drivers for the enterprise architecture. Without business drivers or critical success factors there is no enterprise architecture. In most situations, these are not documented and/or not even understood!

Technology skills are critical to convert the business drivers into technology implications and optimal solutions. Without these skills the Enterprise Architect would be lost!

The above two skills are the core of the profession. However, the one skill that ties them together and makes an Enterprise Architect effective is communications. EA entails a lot of abstract concepts and explanations. The audience usually does not understand these concepts and in a lot of cases has disdain for the activity. A good communicator can turn things around. A bad one can lose even with a brilliant EA.

The Achilles heel of enterprise architecture is that it is a staff function within a staff function! There are no direct bottom line connections; there are no direct end customer connections. Consequently, you are an internal consultant or an advisor at best. On the one hand, an enterprise architect is expected to elicit the correct answers from people who know and on the other advise them on doing their jobs better. Not having the authority to affect change you know is critical is like being asked to watch as the titanic is going down. The problem? Well, you are on board the ship, aren’t you?

Are any of these skills more important than the other? I am not sure the architect can survive without being competent in all of them. So in my book they are all equally important.

Are there other skills that are needed? The short answer is yes. Enterprise Architecture is a leadership role so leadership skills are required. But I am not sure if they are any different than those required for some other leadership role, say project management. Similarly, working the organization or political skills are critical to any key role and Enterprise architects are no different.

Now the 64 thousand dollar question: can these skills be learnt? Well, what do you think?

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.