Showing posts with label Management Support. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Management Support. Show all posts

November 2, 2007

Enterprise Architecture – Art or Science?

George Paras, Editor of Architecture and Governance Magazine states that EA is an art and a science, and I agree with him.

EA needs to improve in both areas, as follows:

  • Science—EA needs to advance as a science, so like in the capability maturity model (CMMi), there is a defined, repeatable, and measurable process, in this case for developing and maintaining the architecture. To accomplish this, EA as a discipline would benefit from having a standardized framework, methodology, governance, tools, and processes, including an agreed upon EA lexicon, principles, major information products, configuration management standards, tools, performance measures, communication plans, visualization techniques, and so on.
  • Art—From an art perspective, enterprise architects need to be bold, innovative, persuasive, rational, structured, determined, and articulate as organizational change agents. EA needs to be able to guide and influence decision-making in the organization, so that EA will not just be done for compliance-sake—with a legislative or policy mandates—but also be an actual driver for organization change, process improvement, and new and innovative technology solutions to meet the business needs and challenges of the future.

Even with EA maturing as an art and science, what’s missing to drive enterprise architecture home?

  1. Commitment to use—“The missing element, though, is that even with the most consistent and repeatable EA creation and maintenance processes and the highest quality EA deliverables, there is never a guarantee that the enterprise will actually USE the deliverables to effect change.”
  2. Unambiguous Management Support—“In fact, of the EA programs that struggle, the inability to express EA content is rarely the problem by itself. More often it is because nobody cares, leaders don’t unambiguously support EA, or the proposed change is perceived as too radical, too expensive, or just not necessary.
  3. Inadequacy of EA performance—“EA teams, in general, haven’t learned to lead through influence, build stakeholder support, innovate, assess organizational strengths/weaknesses, talk in business language, sell business value, and interpret political agendas…the “art-like” elements of EA are as much a part of what it means to be an enterprise architect as design skills and cannot be packaged into a predictable hard science-like methodology.”

(George Paras, Architecture & Governance Magazine, Vol. 3, Issue 3)

For EA to make a real difference in the organization, leaders have got to not only institute EA as a program, but also actually support the IT plans and governance all the way through to implementation.