Showing posts with label Knowledge Gambit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Knowledge Gambit. Show all posts

October 25, 2007

User Concerns (Finally) Answered and Enterprise Architecture

There are a number of prominent issues or concerns that many users seem to voice or have about EA (and I have seen these as common across most organizations).

Here are the concerns:
  1. What’s in it for me (WIIFM)—everyone wants to know the answers to these questions: What do I get out of this? Why collaborate? Why cooperate? Why share information (“information is power” and information is currency”)? Why is EA on my turf?
  2. Perceived obstacle—EA provides for IT governance, but why do we need that? Doesn’t it stifle innovation? Isn’t it better to be ‘free’ to implement what you like, when you like? Why all this bureaucracy?
  3. The knowledge gambit—EA is not technical, what do you know about IT? EA is not operations, what does EA know about the business of the organization?
  4. Unhealthy competition—why is EA competing for management attention, influence, resources, and so on?
It is the job of the chief enterprise architect to address these concerns.
  1. EA is about trust and collaboration; we’re not working for ourselves and against each other, we’re working for the good of the organization. By sharing information, you will also get information from others that will enhance your understanding of the enterprise and enable you to do your job better. If everyone shares, then everyone (and the enterprise, as a whole) benefits!
  2. Governance, when designed right, is a help for users—and not a hindrance or obstacle to progress or innovation. The governance process is owned by the executive decision makers in the organization, usually the Investment Review Board, made up of senior decision-makers from across the organization (both business and IT). The IRB authorizes, prioritizes, and funds new IT investments. EA facilitates the investment review process by providing valuable input to the decision makers in terms of technical review and architecture assessments of new IT projects, products, and standards. EA helps make projects a success by providing business and technical input, and best practice guidance. By bringing subject matter experts together to review and vet ideas before they actually get implemented, we get a better end-product. Innovation is valued and encouraged by EA and moreover, information sharing through EA helps drive innovation and collaboration in the organization.
  3. EA synthesizes business and technology and therefore, is a bridge between the business and technical experts in the organization. While EA is not the ‘subject matter expert’ in either area, EA is an honest broker and functions as a competent facilitator translating business and information requirements to IT and conferring on technology solutions, plans and governance with the business.
  4. There is no competition between EA strategy and operations. The organization needs operations and strategy to not only coexist, but also to complement each other. Strategy and operations are co-dependent. One without the other would not only be suboptimal, but would actually not make sense. You need a strategy and you need to execute—period.