Thursday, November 14, 2013

FEAPO consensus definition of EA [and TOGAF doesn't help]

Federation of Enterprise Architecture Professional Organizations

Based on (

FEAPO find 80% of organizations do not successfully execute the business strategies they have. Poor strategy execution is the most significant management challenge facing large public and private organization.

EA claims to address these challenges, but there is little consensus on what EA is (e.g. what the term means, what the practitioners do, how its processes relate to delivery e.g. agile, where it should report to, etc).

FEAPO's paper “A Common Perspective on Enterprise Architecture” seems to say the following (slightly paraphrasing [e.g. to reduce obscurantism I have used "perspective" or "aspect" instead of "viewpoint", and removed some of the tautologies e.g. "change initiatives"]):

1. EA is the activities and artefacts for translating business strategy into an effective enterprise and includes creating and communicating, and refining the key requirements, principles and models describing the enterprise and enabling transformation.

2. EA's value includes articulating the strategic requirements of the enterprise including:

  • models which present what all aspects of the enterprise should look like in future states, and how they support the business strategy;
  • a roadmap of the initiatives required to reach those future states;
  • the requirements, principles, standards and guidelines that should govern implementation

EA outcomes include:

  • improving the effectiveness, efficiency, agility and structure of the enterprise;
  • improving the ability of the enterprise to continuously innovate;
  • rationalising, centralising, federating and improving the completeness and quality of: business processes, business information and business rules;
  • aligning spending on initiatives so that they deliver the strategic intent.

EA commonly maintains:

  • information describing the enterprise in different states (“target”, “future”, "intermediate/transitional) [actually there is no future state - there are only future states) 
  • perspectives that span the enterprise (across various unit or functional boundaries)

EA practices should provide efficient, effective, consistent analysis, planning, design, and implementation of strategic needs.

It postulates that non-financial measure exist [which I think a bit silly, in public companies where the sole focus is on financial performance]. Strategic planning does not produce a directly measurable ROIs [which makes more sense].

Elsewhere today I saw

Someone called "Len" indicates that TOGAF is a follower not a leader e.g. "The Open Group and TOGAF will not change their concept of enterprise architecture until the community as a whole does" [which should be no news to anyone]. [TOGAF has long been captured by technology vendors and dragged down to be solution and engineering oriented]

Adrian Grigoriu says (correctly in my view that) that TOGAF  "moves too slowly in who knows what direction, while it becomes irrelevant. In the meantime, because of its clout, it hinders the development of other EA approaches." [i.e. TOGAF is more an impediment (emperor's new clothes) than anything else]

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