Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Virtuous circles of strategy, architecture and delivery

If we don't support a virtuous circle of use - we won't achieve much (and certainly not cost effectively).

The majority of people who need to consume an Enterprise Architecture and Strategies are business teams (owners, analysts etc.) and solution architects, designers etc. i.e. down-stream project teams wanting to do something (buy, build, change etc.). NOT other EAs and Strategists. You can see the same thing with a town plan i.e. the majority of people who consume the town plan are property owners, architects etc. wishing to do things.

Governance functions also have a need (e.g. project office, contract/vendor management, business case analysts).

Until EA can effectively understand its place in the lifecycle of think, plan, excute, operate - it will struggle.

Enterprises wish to make changes (transform, optimize) and EA is intended to guide these changes (it is not an end in itself). The changes will usually be implemented in initiatives, programmes, and projects. Those involving IT will usually have requirements, solution architectures, etc. These projects are where the rubber hits the road.

So EA needs to be consumed by down-stream projects - which will indicate their use of existing assets (applications, services, interfaces, hardware etc.), standards (products, technologies, patterns), capabilities (skills, resources) - and indicate where they will produce new assets or require new/different standards to be adopted or capabilities established etc.

Most of what one sees in a tradional EA once came from some project that drove the need for it. This is true on the business and technology side - but is usually more obvious with technology.

An EA needs to be produced and consumed both bottom up and top down.

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