Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Good Commentary on the State of Enterprise Architecture

Original Post on 16 Dec 2009 - Came across this very well written blog by Mike Rosen on the topic of State of EA in 2010. In this blog Mike very well rounds up the key challenges which the practice of EA is facing in changed and challenging times. Makes a good argument for having KPIs or measurement matrices to judge the effectiveness of EA. And also draws some key impact areas from new technology developments such as Cloud. Well worth a read!

Post Update on 18 Jan 2011 - I have noticed (from the blog stats) that there seems to some fresh interest in this topic hence thought an update to this post in early 2011 will be useful - 

Repairing the Broken or Ineffective Enterprise Architecture Program

So you went through this cycle recently in your organisation? You identified the need for a formal EA function? Then defined the EA function, brought some Enterprise Architects in your organisation, or rebranded some? And then spent significant time, money, efforts, and resources to launch and run the program for months or a year? And still not getting right results, stakeholder engagement and ROI promised by EA business case? Don't worry! You are not alone.  

A number of EA functions face similar issues and majority end up being folded and produced EA collateral ends up on shelf somewhere. A few however, learn and grow from this to genuinely make a difference for the Organisation. I have personally been involved in both these versions of EA programs. And based on my personal experience, the difference seems to be success (or lack of it) in securing executive sponsorship, visible early results, wider engagement, right balance of project and strategy. Most remarkable EA programs are driven not as IT or IS programs but as Business and Corporate Strategy Programs. See my previous blog “CEO as the Chief Enterprise Architect”  

Gene Leganza of Forrester Research has written a very good article in which he analyses the failure scenarios and proposes four best practices to get EA program back on track. They are as follows; 

1. Focus intensely on clearly defined goals

2. Base EA goals on what matters to the business now

3. Create an EA practice effective for your needs and culture

4. Align the application portfolio with business strategy


As Gene Leganza states, an effective enterprise architecture (EA) practice can eliminate business-IT-alignment problems, bring order and purpose to an organization's use of technology, and lead an enterprise on the road to greater collaboration and innovation. However it's all too common to see EA programs crash and burn because architects fail to convince key stakeholders of their value. 


May be this is the key message of 2011 for Enterprise Architecture community then – Clear EA Value Proposition Definition and Effective ongoing Stakeholder Management. Good Luck my fellow EA practitioners, have a successful 2011!

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