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Geographical information about where this text originated or about its content. You Are Here: home unt libraries government documents department this text. Downstream collaboration builds consensus with key stakeholders, makes EA artifacts immediately actionable and gives stakeholders a sense of ownership over the artifacts. This promotes buy-in and wider usage throughout the organization. EA leadership must emphasize hiring a team of people with the soft skills necessary to collaborate in the manner described above.
Overlooking these skills can be detrimental to the success of the EA team. The softer side of EA and its relation to the harder side is shown below in Figure 3.
Tree Huggers’ Enterprise Architecture
It is important to note these two sides are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they support each other and only together drive a successful EA function. Figure 3 : To grow the impact EA has within an organization, the EA team must focus on and mature both the softer and harder sides. While the harder side is typically the core focus, without proper messaging and positive relationships with the rest of the organization, even the best artifacts and modeling will go unused and provide little value to the business.
A Practical Guide to Federal Enterprise Architecture, Version 1.0 (Extended by GAO-03-584G)
Finding people who can execute both sides may be challenging, but it is worth the pursuit. Without the softer side of EA, the efforts put into the harder side will go to waste and the organization will suffer as a whole. Building an EA function in an iterative fashion may be the most challenging aspect of implementing a practical approach to EA and one that is completely dependent on the two other components discussed above. While desire to build EA from the top down using a linear approach may be strong, flexibility is critical.
A more iterative approach, rooted in agile software development principles , enables EA teams to carefully select which initiatives or solutions to focus on while building the overarching EA program in parallel. Using this approach, the company is essentially building the plane while it flies. Figure 4 : While the ideal EA function would be built out in a linear approach, an organization cannot halt business and IT functions for the sake of foundational EA artifacts. Many situations force an iterative approach to EA where an organization builds the foundational capabilities of EA at the same time that domain-specific artifacts are created for key domain areas.
This flexible approach allows the business to derive value from critical domains while building core EA foundations in parallel. In EA, there are foundational artifacts e. Domain-specific artifacts depend on foundational artifacts. Because initiatives and solutions with specific domains are already underway for most businesses, an iterative approach to EA allows domain-specific activities to continue while the overarching and domain-specific EA artifacts are built in an agile manner.
The best way to demonstrate this relationship within the overall practical approach is with a case study. A company that traditionally focused on two main product lines Products A and B was undergoing a substantial transformation. From a business perspective, they were betting on a shift in consumer demand across their product portfolio:. All three product categories required a heavy focus on understanding the consumer. But because the company could only legally sell through distributors, they had limited direct access to consumer data and were forced to get most of their information through distribution partners and third-party sources.
The company decided to acquire a business that created Product C and divest a majority of their interest in Product B. They were also planning future acquisitions of smaller companies to grow their presence in local markets with Product A.
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The company needed to manage the complexity of their environment while designing analytics and integration platforms in the public cloud. The customer engaged WWT to build an EA capability from the ground up, and to design and implement three key strategic solutions that should be driven by EA. The four workstreams involved:. Our approach also focused on capturing buy-in up and down the chain of management.
Figure 5: An iterative approach to EA allows multiple workstreams to kickoff and progress in parallel, all while being executed in the EA mindset. As the foundational EA function matures, its influence on domain-specific workstreams grows and eventually becomes the core driver of all strategic decisions of the IT organization. The working groups focused on building strategies and roadmaps for their respective domains, while the EARB collaborated with the working groups on foundational artifacts.
The CIO collaborated with his peers to feed the EA team business strategies and guide artifact creation.
As they were built out, the foundations drove more clarity and consistency across the domain-specific artifacts. These living and breathing EA artifacts were built on a platform that was easy to share and update. A coordinated approach to messaging and knowledge sharing was key to the success of our practical approach, as was mutual trust in each other and a willingness to engage in healthy debate. The teams designing and building the cloud MVP, the cloud-based data analytics platform and the cloud-based integration platform were able to rapidly digest the EA artifacts and put the plans into action.
These artifacts were immediately actionable and tied directly back to business drivers identified in the foundational EA. Proofs-of-concept were built and tests were iterated until the solutions met all business needs. Because the EA artifacts were built in a collaborative nature, solution architects bought-in to the strategies and design from the start. Logical architecture is separated from physical architecture. Building an Enterprise Architecture The term architect was derived from the building trade.
The building of a corporation's nervous system is directly comparable to building a house. Blueprints show how a house will be constructed. They provide multiple views, each expressing its own level of detail. One view of the house may include all the electrical circuits that are of extreme value to an electrician.
Likewise, the plumber will need a blueprint to show where all the pipes and water should go. Enterprise architecture diagrams the blueprints for all of the people within an organization so they know how to build an agile enterprise.
The enterprise architecture blueprint is meant to provide sufficient detail to allow the idea to become a reality when put in the hands of skilled professionals, much as a house blueprint does. We do not mean to imply that building a skyscraper is as easy as building a house. A decade ago, Garlan stated, "As the size and complexity of software systems increases, the design problem goes beyond the algorithms and data structures of the computation: designing and specifying the overall system structure emerges as a new kind of problem. This is the software architecture level of design.
Figure P Architectural composition. Enterprise architecture within this context seeks to solve for intellectual manageability. Architecture of large projects and their complexity arise from broad scope, massive size, novelties of the minute, currently deployed technologies, and other factors.
The goal of enterprise architecture in this situation is to provide a manner to hide unnecessary detail, simplify difficult-to-understand concepts, and break down the problem into better-understood components decomposition. Complexity also arises within organizations due to processes used in building the system, the number of people who are involved with construction, the introduction of the possibility of outsourcing and geographically dispersed teams, and the organizational funding model.
Ideally, enterprise architecture can assist, but not eliminate, the management of the process by providing clearer separation of concerns, enhancing communications, and making dependencies more manageable. Building enterprise architecture is difficult but not impossible, as long as one sticks to architectural principles. The architectural blueprint defines what should be built, not how or why.
Project plans document the how, and their creation is best left to individuals who have studied project management.
Modeling Enterprise Architecture with TOGAF - 1st Edition
The why is best left to one's business customer, as all architecture should be business-driven. A word of advice: A good architecture provides agility but also provides constraints. A highly successful architecture will remove points of decision from those who are traditionally accustomed to having a free-for-all, making decisions impulsively or reacting to the opinions of those who are uninformed. Good architects will see things that make their heads hurt, but their aspirin is in knowing that their hard work and persistence will result in the reduction of future problems.
Helping others see the value of enterprise architecture is crucial, as it brings benefit to the enterprise even if decisions have local consequences.