Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Real-World Enterprise Architecture

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A couple good insights in this entry from Neil Ward-Dutton at IT-Director: Real-world Enterprise Architecture part I: journey vs destination

Focus on EA as a journey, rather than as a destination

"It's all too easy to focus on the technical nature of EA outputs; which bits of the Zachman Framework should we complete? Should we mandate that all our models use UML?… and so on. Now don't get me wrong, it's important to get a handle on the scope of your efforts, and try and create some consistency in what gets done—but these things are means to an end, not the end in itself."
Establish business commitment and understanding and buy-in (after all, it's not about technical pursuits)
"Where I see organisations spending a lot of time worrying about the format and scope of EA outputs and artefacts, often, perversely, it comes about because there's a lack of organisational ambition regarding the role and contribution of EA as a practice. The hole left by a lack of ambition here is often filled by huge technical ambition: 'let's model the world'. We all know what happens if you follow that road too far."
Spend your time with the stakeholders - not other architects
"For EA practice to have a valuable contribution, it has to be prepared to prioritise conversations with business people (and less so with other IT people) over conversations with other architects. Although that's not within the comfort zone of every architect, it's critical. Real architecture has to involve real stakeholder engagement, otherwise architecture is just design with a corner office."
Become bilingual in the languages of business and technology
"In the context of 21st Century business, the critical EA competency is the ability to drive shared language and multiparty understanding—and conversations."
Neil describes a perfectly rational approach to architecture. One that takes into account the often under-represented breadth of the architect's responsibilities and the underestimated importance of engaging the business in active and pragmatic dialog.


1 comment:

John Wu said...

You are right, I have said the same thing on Light Enterprise Architecture . I also suggest the approach.