Tag Archives: enterprise capabilities

Successful Enterprise Architecture using the TOGAF® and ArchiMate® Standards

By Henry Franken, BiZZdesign

The discipline of Enterprise Architecture was developed in the 1980s with a strong focus on the information systems landscape of organizations. Since those days, the scope of the discipline has slowly widened to include more and more aspects of the enterprise as a whole. This holistic perspective takes into account the concerns of a wide variety of stakeholders. Architects, especially at the strategic level, attempt to answer the question “How should we organize ourselves in order to be successful?”

An architecture framework is a foundational structure, or set of structures, which can be used for developing a broad range of different architectures and consists of a process and a modeling component. TOGAF® framework and the ArchiMate® modeling language – both maintained by The Open Group® – are the two leading standards in this field.

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Much has been written on this topic in online forums, whitepapers, and blogs. On the BiZZdesign blog we have published several series on EA in general and these standards in particular, with a strong focus on the question: what should we do to be successful with EA using TOGAF framework and the ArchiMate modeling language? I would like to summarize some of our findings here:

Tip 1 One of the key success factors for being successful with EA is to deliver value early on. We have found that organizations who understand that a long-term vision and incremental delivery (“think big, act small”) have a larger chance of developing an effective EA capability
 
Tip 2 Combine process and modeling: TOGAF framework and the ArchiMate modeling language are a powerful combination. Deliverables in the architecture process are more effective when based on an approach that combines formal models with powerful visualization capabilities. Even more, an architecture repository is an valuable asset that can be reused throughout the enterprise
 
Tip 3 Use a tool! It is true that “a fool with a tool is still a fool”. In our teaching and consulting practice we have found, however, that adoption of a flexible and easy to use tool can be a strong driver in pushing the EA-initiative forward.

There will be several interesting presentations on this subject at the upcoming Open Group conference (Newport Beach, CA, USA, January 28 – 31: Look here), ranging from theory to case practice, focusing on getting started with EA as well as on advanced topics.

I will also present on this subject and will elaborate on the combined use of The Open Group standards for EA. I also gladly invite you to join me at the panel sessions. Look forward to see you there!

Henry FrankenHenry Franken is the managing director of BiZZdesign and is chair of The Open Group ArchiMate Forum. As chair of The Open Group ArchiMate Forum, Henry led the development of the ArchiMate Version 2.o standard. Henry is a speaker at many conferences and has co-authored several international publications and Open Group White Papers. Henry is co-founder of the BPM-Forum. At BiZZdesign, Henry is responsible for research and innovation.

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Filed under ArchiMate®, Enterprise Architecture, TOGAF®

Is Enterprise Architecture a Profession?

By Jason Uppal, QRS

I have been involved with the Enterprise Architecture (EA) industry for the past 12 years. If the number of open positions for Enterprise Architects is any indication, there are a great many vacancies for EA opportunities that are going unfulfilled. Every time we discuss how to close this supply and demand gap for architects, the same question arises time and time again – is Enterprise Architecture a profession or discipline? Having some insight to this question – if not a complete answer – will help us further define the curriculum, mentoring and process to develop architects.

The purpose of this blog is to discuss what makes a profession and how to apply this to Enterprise Architecture. The July-August 2010 Harvard Business Review explored a similar subject – Is management a profession or discipline? I would like to apply the same thinking to Enterprise Architecture and would welcome your comments.

What makes a Profession?

The HBR article outlined the following characteristics of a profession:

  • Professions are made up of particular categories of people from whom we seek advice and services because they have knowledge and skills that we do not.
  • We cannot judge the quality of information ourselves even after the actions according to the advice and/or service has been implemented.
  • Since a professional is an expert and we are not, there is always an asymmetry of knowledge.


Scenario for Medicine as a Profession

Let’s apply these characteristics to a well-known profession such as a physician. After a four-year hiatus from marathon running, I asked my family doctor for advice on how to approach my training, the goal being that I just wanted to complete the marathon in less than four hours. He reviewed my physical condition, training plan and demeanour from past records and provided me with a training plan, nutrition plan and regular checkup schedule. During the training, he helped me understand how best to use the tools he provided. The final result, I completed the run in 3 hours and 45 minutes, without injuring myself, and still had enough strength to celebrate afterwards.

Situation Diagnostics – Could another physician have given me a different plan that would achieve the same results? The answer is perhaps yes, but as an information seeker I would have never known. I needed to trust my physician as the expert and that I did not have the expertise to judge the quality of his advice. This information asymmetry will permanently exist.

Scenario for an Enterprise Architecture as a Profession

Let’s apply similar scenario to an Enterprise Architect. Three years ago, I was asked by a manufacturing VP (George) to help upgrade his company’s aging manufacturing production infrastructure with a financially viable business case. For simplicity, let’s ignore other constraints for now. I studied the current situation, defined the target state, quantified the business benefit of being at the target state, validated it with key stakeholders, defined the transition map, created the architecture  — including total cost, benefits, risk and impact of the change on people. We presented the architecture and business case to the CEO in three slides and in seven minutes. He looked at both of us and said, “Are you telling me that you can solve the production problems at that price” – which was half of the anticipated price – “and deliver these benefits by this schedule?” The answer came, “Yes sir”. He immediately said, “George, we should do this program.”

Situation Diagnostics: I framed the problem, defined, implemented and exploited the capabilities to deliver the results at a certain cost and risk appetite. Would George – given his own abilities – be able to determine that the problem could have been solved for half the costs and less risk and impact to the organization? The answer is no, unless he asks another architect for a second review of the problem. This option is not very realistic in practice.

In conclusion, I would like to say that Enterprise Architecture is a profession where we define the role of Enterprise Architect as a person who takes responsibility for the definition and development of necessary Enterprise Capabilities required to achieve the goals and provide expertise based in leading the exploitation of those capabilities until the intended outcome is achieved. This is no different from what I asked my physician in the scenario above.

Are we ready to define and accept Enterprise Architect’s role as above? I welcome all feedback … negative and positive.

This post was originally posted to the QRS blog on April 16.

The profession of Enterprise Architecture is a subject that will be discussed in depth during The Open Group Conference, London, May 9-13, both in public sessions and during The Open Group Architecture Forum meetings. Join us in London for best practices and case studies on Enterprise Architecture, Cloud, Security and more, presented by preeminent thought leaders in the industry.

Jason Uppal, P.Eng. is the Chief Architect at QRS and was the first Master IT Architect certified by The Open Group, by direct review, in October 2005. He holds an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, graduate degree in Economics and a post graduate diploma in Computer Science. Jason’s commitment to Enterprise Architecture Life Cycle (EALC) has led him to focus on training (TOGAF®), education (UOIT) and mentoring services to his clients as well as being the responsible individual for both Architecture and Portfolio & Project Management for a number of major projects. Jason has found that education is only beneficial to those companies who can industrialize the EALC process – staff must be able to implement what they have learned. To that end, he lead a team of java software developers to develop an end to end industrialization product which encapsulates Enterprise Architecture, Portfolio and Project Management, Project Management and  IT Services Management processes. Implementing this software product, ITO, (www.itoProcesses.com.) permits companies to take full advantage of TOGAF® and any other custom processes which might already be in place within their organization.

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Filed under Enterprise Architecture