Showing posts with label Organizational Awareness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Organizational Awareness. Show all posts

April 18, 2008

10 Obstacles to Enterprise Architecture

Here is an interesting list of 10 obstacles to the enterprise architecture from a colleague and friend, Andy Wasser, Associate Dean, Carnegie Mellon University School of Information Systems Management:

  1. Lack of Senior Management [Commitment] Support
  2. Inability to obtain necessary resources (funds, personnel, time)
  3. Business partner alienation
  4. Internal IT conflicts and turf issues (no centralized authority)
  5. Lack of credibility of the EA team
  6. Inexperience with enterprise architecture planning or inexperience with the organization
  7. Entrenched IT team [operational focus versus strategic]
  8. Focus on EAP methodologies and tools [rather than on outputs and outcomes]
  9. Uncertain payback and ROI
  10. Disharmony between sharing data vs. protecting data

This is a good list for the chief enterprise architect to work with and develop strategies for addressing these. If I may, here are some thoughts on overcoming them:

1-4,7,9: Obtain Senior management commitment/support, resources, and business/IT partnership by articulating a powerful vision for the EA; identify the benefits (and mandates); preparing an EA program assessment, including lessons learned and what you need to do to make things “right”; developing an EA program plan with milestones that shows you have a clear way ahead. Providing program metrics of how you intend to evaluate and demonstrate progress and value for the business/IT.

5,6,8: Build credibility for EA planning, governance, and organizational awareness by hiring the best and the brightest and train, train, train; getting out of the ivory tower and working hand-in-hand in concert with business partners; building information products and governance services that are useful and usable to the organization (no shelfware!); using a three-tier metamodel (profiles, models, and inventories) to provide information in multiple levels of details that makes it valuable and actionable from everyone from the analyst to the chief executive officer; looking for opportunities (those that value EA and want to participate) and build incrementally (“one success at a time”).

10: Harmonize information sharing and security by developing an information governance board (that includes the chief information security officer) to vet information sharing and security issues; establishing data stewards to manage day-to-day issues including metadata development, information exchange package descriptions, discovery, accessibility, and security; creating a culture that values and promotes information sharing, but also protects information from inappropriate access and modification.


September 17, 2007

Organizational Awareness and Enterprise Architecture

In User-centric EA, we are focused on the end-user and that means that we are not only aware of the needs of the end-users, but that we are organizationally aware as well. This situational awareness includes an understanding of the actors as well the formal and informal structures they play in and the influence they wield.

The Wall Street Journal, 21 August 2007 reports that “one of the competencies in every study of outstanding leaders is their degree of organizational awareness—reading the informal networks, like influence in the organization.…misreading the choke points, sources of influence, or all of those whose rings need kissing, can spell disaster.”

The chief enterprise architect is responsible for identifying the baseline and establishing the target and transition plan. Setting targets and establishing transition strategies that will really be adopted by the organization (and hence really work) requires a keen sense of the organization, the stakeholders, and the networks (formal and informal).

You can't just plop a plan down and say “here it is, follow it!” Instead, the plans and strategies must truly reflect the people of the organization, their needs and requirements, and be accepted by its power brokers at all levels.