What is Enterprise Architecture
Most explanations of what is enterprise architecture follow one of two paths. They either speak to what we do (Gartner). Or they speak about what it is (DoDAF).
Both paths net down to enterprise architecture is about understanding the real-world. Then deliberately using your understanding to change the real-world.
What we do definition of enterprise architecture
“the process of translating business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change by creating, communicating, and improving the key principles and models that describe the enterprise’s future state and enable its evolution”
What it is definition of enterprise architecture
“a set of abstractions and models that simplify and communicate complex structures, processes, rules, and constraints to improve understanding, implementation, forecasting, and resourcing”
Why Enterprise Architecture is Important
The reason enterprise architecture is important is simple. Good enterprise architecture helps make hard decisions. Complex decisions without clear answers. Enterprise architecture answers questions like:
- Whether to change?
- What to change?
- How to change?
- What to leave alone?
- How to deal with failing change?
Enterprise architects develop enterprise architecture to help their stakeholders make difficult decisions. Then the enterprise architects help the stakeholders create the changes.
You use enterprise architecture when you have a wicked problem that has answers that improve competing assessment criteria. Competing criteria, like cost, speed, agility, time-to-market, security, sustainability. Designing to support one outcome is easy. Use enterprise architecture for the hard problems.
Enterprise architecture is important because it answers wicked problems.
Tests for a Wicked Problem
- The problem is not understood until after the formulation of a solution
- No stopping rule
- Solutions are not right or wrong
- Essentially novel and unique
- Every solution is a 'one shot operation’
- No given alternative solutions
Who uses Enterprise Architecture
Enterprise Architecture for Stakeholders
Stakeholders are the primary consumer of an enterprise architecture
Enterprise architecture governance highlights that stakeholders own all Enterprise Architecture decisions
Enterprise architecture as a deliverable is often less useful to a stakeholder than actively taking part in its development.
Stakeholders who need to make complex decisions. They have Wicked Problems, those problems without an obvious answer. Hard Problems that whose solutions shine on different criteria.
Developing an enterprise architecture helps the stakeholder explore the potential answers and select the least-worst.
Enterprise Architecture for Sponsor
Sponsors are a secondary market for an enterprise architecture. Sponsors manage enterprise resources & drive change programs.
Enterprise architecture provides a sponsor with the constraints & value of a change program. They advise the Sponsor on the plan to execute the architecture roadmap.
Enterprise Architecture for Implementers
Implementers are the last major consumer of enterprise architecture. While an implementer owns all implementation decisions, they can only make those choices within the constraints and guidelines of the enterprise architecture.
Enterprise architecture provides the Implementer with what is being built, where value is realized, and what the Implementer does not control
Why do Enterprise Architecture?
In short, enterprise architecture is understanding the real-world in a way that allows deliberate change.
You do enterprise architecture to improve your possibility of successful change.
What is Useful Enterprise Architecture
Unfortunately, you cannot look at most enterprise architects and EA Teams and see what they do. Therefore, we have the recurrent question.
Most people with the job title Enterprise Architect are not doing enterprise architecture. Most of what we call EA is not recognizable as enterprise architecture.
An enterprise architecture is a simplification of complex reality. Useful enterprise architecture has several characteristics.
- it explains how a deficiency in our organization exists
- it provides a way of assessing change against multiple criteria
- it directs change to improve and organization
We often refer to the enterprise architecture as the binder. By itself, an architecture is a set of documents.
Learn more about Enterprise Architecture
Predictable EA – EA Governance Workshop Enterprise Architecture Governance workshop both sides of EA Governance the creation of enterprise architecture change with architecture This workshop is helpful to organizations considering investing significantly in organizational transformation. […]Read More
Predictable EA – Stakeholder Engagement Workshop Stakeholder Engagement Workshops start your architecture development on firm footing. Understand who your key stakeholders are, their concerns, and how to communicate. Stakeholder engagement is the foundation of good […]Read More
Establish & Enhance an EA Capability Develop your team of enterprise architects while you deliver powerful enterprise architecture. We structure Predictable EA engagements around 6-week sprints. Each sprint has 4 themes: Individual & Team training […]Read More
Navigate Enterprise Architecture Capability Atlas Navigate Enterprise Architecture Capability Atlas is used to develop high-functioning EA Teams. It provides the tools to model purpose, capability and build a capability-improvement roadmap. The Atlas is a specialized […]Read More
Predictable Enterprise Architecture Conexiam has established a sound practice of developing architecture predictably. We adapt Kanban knowledge manufacturing and agile practices to enable predictable enterprise architecture. We base kanban knowledge manufacturing on known deliverables and […]Read More
Developing New Enterprise Architects Case Study We develop high-functioning EA teams for a living. Developing high-functioning EA Teams requires developing enterprise architects. We spoke about hands on experience developing enterprise architecture teams and new enterprise […]Read More
Understanding Agile Development and Enterprise Architecture Agile and Enterprise Architecture fit together wonderfully. Both solve different parts of the problem. Agile software development excels at building something that we have never had before and do […]Read More
Enterprise Architecture Certification Grow your career with effective enterprise architecture training Find Out More TOGAF® 9 Training Course TOGAF® Certification shows knowledge of the essential scaffolding for the enterprise architect profession. Read More Enterprise Architecture […]Read More