Category Archives: Enterprise Architecture

TOGAF® User Group Meeting – The Open Group London 2016

By The Open Group

On April 27, the second TOGAF® User Group Meeting was held at The Open Group London 2016. The session brought together TOGAF users and stakeholders to share information, best practices and learning, for the development of individual practitioners’ knowledge and the standard as a whole. Discussions revolved around how to better use TOGAF in practice within different organizations and industries, success stories and areas of improvement, as well as suggestions as to how the standard can be improved upon in the future.

Central Hall Westminster conservatory was packed, as Steve Nunn, President and CEO of The Open Group, opened the meeting with a warm welcome to the community. He heralded the session as an initiative that was ‘trailblazing’ the way for the development of TOGAF®, an Open Group standard, which now has more than 55,000 certifications.

The session was hosted by Terry Blevins, a Fellow of The Open Group and Director of The Open Group Governing Board. Terry has been involved in development of the TOGAF standard for years and has been a major contributor to its development. He stressed that as the community continues to grow, it’s so important to hear real-world experiences of those using the standard to get a broader perspective on what works, what doesn’t, and how it can evolve.

To achieve this, the TOGAF User Group staged an ‘Open Debate’. Fashioned on an Oxford-style debate, it was designed to tap into people’s feelings about the TOGAF standard and allow questions and different points of view to be shared around the room. Standard debating rules were explained, before the proposition declaration was laid out:

“The TOGAF® Architecture Development Method (ADM) is not agile and therefore there is a need to change the specification to make it agile.”

Arguing ‘For’ the proposition was Chris Armstrong, President of Armstrong Process Group, Inc. and internationally recognized thought leader and expert in iterative software development, Enterprise Architecture, object-orientated analysis and design, the Unified Modelling Language, use case driver requirements and process implementation.

Arguing ‘Against’ the proposition was Paul Homan, Technology Strategy Consultant for IBM for eight years. He is a Certified Distinguished IT Architect, specializing in Enterprise Architecture joining IBM from end-user environments, having worked as Chief Architect in both the UK Post Office and Royal Mail. Not only has he established Enterprise Architecture practices, but also lived with the results.

By The Open Group

Open Debate with Paul Homan and Chris Armstrong

In order to understand the audience’s view at the outset of the debate, attendees were asked to vote on their existing standpoint. A few hands showed support for changing the specification to make it agile, and a few abstained. However, most hands were raised against the proposition, agreeing that the ADM was already agile in nature.

Chris then had seven minutes to argue his case – that the TOGAF ADM is not agile and needs to change. He conceded that very few people would steadfastly ignore change within their organization and aim to respond to it badly, however in the whole 692 pages of TOGAF version 9.1, agile is only mentioned twice, agility 6 times and lean is not mentioned at all. Furthermore, the mere fact that there are 692 pages could be taken to indicate the lack of agility altogether. The crop circle diagram that underpins the whole framework appears linear and waterfall in appearance, and so lacking in agility by nature. He argued that the only way that the TOGAF ADM can realistically support an agile enterprise is by becoming agile itself.

Likewise, Paul put his seven-minute case forward – arguing that the TOGAF ADM is agile and does not require any changes to make it so. He made the point that as an architect, everything has to have a reference system, and that the TOGAF ADM is a framework for developing architecture, not a style guide. The specification is actually part of a wider ecosystem of material, including pocket guides, whitepapers, translations and qualifications, and all of these items help to move the enterprise away from project management bureaucracy, towards agile project development. Enterprise Architects, he said, should live by the oath: ‘I will apply for the benefit of the enterprise, all architecture practices that are required’. This is so as to make agile more meaningful and relevant. Instead of relying on the framework, agility is created through just enough architecture, coupled with the interpretation and implementation of the framework by the practitioner. Therefore, skills are the most important element in these projects.

Following these opening statements, TOGAF users were encouraged to ask questions to the pair. A couple of these, included below, give a flavor of the discussion:

Q: Chris, you counted the number of times TOGAF uses the word agile – but how many occurrences are there where it says you cannot be agile and processes must take a long time?

A: Chris –Just because TOGAF does not say you cannot be agile, does not mean it is agile itself. The best laid plans will not work if the people delivering it do not see where they fit in and translate their work to the project they are implementing. We are not recognizing significant changes in delivery from the waterfall practices of many years ago.

Paul – It’s a prioritization exercise – we need to worry about the behaviors of practitioners and the interaction of enterprise architecture functions within a project, rather than the spec and other incentives. Accessibility is key – we can help people access this body of knowledge without having to rethink the whole body of knowledge

Q: The TOGAF standard is a reference model and we need to adapt to the particular needs of each organization, so how do you handle that?

A: Paul – It’s all about consumption. We have to consider that somebody has to be able to consume the guidance that we want to provide as EAs within a development project. We want them to be aware of what matters to us from an EA perspective – we shouldn’t be trying to out-design them, we should just think about what is relevant to us that they are potentially not aware of. This comes back to understanding your consumer.

It’s a bit like someone that comes to service the heating in a house. The consumer is the house owner and the servicer has a tool bag, which in this case is the TOGAF standard. It has all the tools in it you might need. Boilers will change, but what is really changing in an agile world is that customer experience is evolving. This would include their presentation, reliability and professionalism – customers get a good experience from behaviors and style, not the toolset. The tool bag will remain the same, but behavior and how it is applied needs to change and get better.

Q: Chris, are you saying that we should be working in a completely agile fashion and that waterfall methods are no longer relevant?

Chris – We need to acknowledge the complexity of various different organizations, and we need to find the balance between always evolving technology and approval times, for example. Agility in enterprise architecture is often compensating for a lack of agility throughout the rest of the enterprise – maybe solution delivery teams wouldn’t have to be so agile if everywhere else in the company was a bit more agile.

Q: The crop circle is a waterfall model, this is reflected in the spec itself, but if you keep the framework are we missing the opportunity to address different levels of agility?

Chris –  We need to change the crop circle. This might be met with great resistance but it implies that you have to wait to complete one phase to start the next one – you should be doing certain processes every day and not waiting to go from one stage to another.

Paul – The reader is lulled into the idea that there is a sequence and you must complete one phase before another. I think that there is always going to be a weakness in condensing a large body of knowledge into one diagram, and there is always going to be approximation which is what has happened from TOGAF® 9.1 into the crop circle. There are things we can assume – but this is why the spec says it’s not intended to be waterfall.

The two speakers then summarized their arguments. Paul reinforced his argument that the ADM is fit for purpose as a Hippocratic Oath for EAs, but what matters is the changes in our behavior to complement this. Chris stated that the spec does need to change, to add supplemental guidance so people can be guided in how to implement TOGAF as an agile framework.

When it came to the final vote from the audience, more people had been persuaded by the ‘for’ argument, to change the ADM spec, however the ‘against’ argument still had more support in the room. This conclusion demonstrated that there was a display of two sound and compelling arguments for each side, and Terry noted that more time for questions would be needed at the next debate!

Following the debate came two breakout sessions; ‘The Roles of People in TOGAF Driven Architecture Initiatives’ from Len Fehskens, Editor, Journal of Enterprise Architecture (AEA), and ‘Using TOGAF® for Digital Business Transformation’ from Sonia Gonzalez, The Open Group Architecture Forum Director. These sessions were used to open up a freer dialogue between users, to discuss their ideas and experiences around  the TOGAF standard.

Check out video highlights of the debate here!

Please join us at the next TOGAF® User Group Meeting taking place at The Open Group Austin 2016 July 18 – 21!

@theopengroup #ogLON #ogAUS

 

 

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Filed under Association of Enterprise Architects, Certifications, EA, Enterprise Architecture, Professional Development, standards, Steve Nunn, The Open Group London 2016, TOGAF®, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

The Open Group London 2016 – Day Three Highlights

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, The Open Group

On Wednesday, April 27, The Open Group London 2016 began with the second TOGAF® User Group Meeting held in the conservatory of Central Hall Westminster. Steve Nunn, President and CEO of The Open Group, opened the meeting with a warm welcome to the community. He stated a session like this is ‘trailblazing’ the way for the development of TOGAF®, an Open Group standard, which now has reached over 55,000 total certifications!

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications

 

Following the success of the inaugural TOGAF® User Group Meeting at the San Francisco event in January, this session focused around an ‘Open Debate’, chaired by Terry Blevins, a Fellow of The Open Group and member of The Open Group Governing Board. He stressed that as the community continues to grow, it is so important to hear real-world experiences of those using the standard to get a broader perspective on what works, what doesn’t, and how it can evolve. A heated discussion ensued, as the debaters Chris Armstrong, President, APG, and Paul Homan, Enterprise Architect, IBM, argued their case on either side of the proposition:

“TOGAF® ADM is not agile and therefore there is a need to change the specification to make it agile.”

After a series of audience questions, the session ended with a vote, which revealed that more people had been persuaded by the ‘for’ argument, to change the ADM spec, however the ‘against’ argument still had more support in the room. This conclusion demonstrated that there was a display of two sound and compelling arguments for each side, and Terry took note that more time for questions would be needed at the next debate!

Two breakout sessions were then held: ‘The Roles of People in TOGAF® Driven Architecture Initiatives’ from Len Fehskens, Editor, Journal of Enterprise Architecture, AEA, and ‘Using TOGAF® for Digital Business Transformation’ from Sonia Gonzalez, Architecture Forum Director, The Open Group. These sessions were used to open up a dialogue between users, to discuss their ideas and experiences around TOGAF®.

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications

 

The afternoon continued with various tracks on the Internet of Things, EA Practice, Architecture Methods and Techniques, Security Requirements and ArchiMate® Case Studies and Workshop.  ArchiMate is an Open Group standard.

A special thank you to our sponsors and exhibitors:  avolution, BiZZdesign, Good e-Learning, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Troux by planview, Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA), ITSMF UK, qualiware, Van Haren Publishing, The ITSM Review

Please join us at The Open Group Austin 2016 in July which will also include the next TOGAF® User Group Meeting!

@theopengroup #ogLON #ogAUS

 

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications

Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, joined The Open Group in 2013 and spearheads corporate marketing initiatives, primarily the website, blog, media relations and social media. Loren has over 20 years experience in brand marketing and public relations and, prior to The Open Group, was with The Walt Disney Company for over 10 years. Loren holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University. She is based in the US.

 

 

 

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The Open Group London 2016 – Day Two Highlights

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, The Open Group

After a fantastic first day in Central Hall Westminster, The Open Group London 2016 continued on Tuesday, April 26 as attendees looked forward to another excellent line-up of speakers and topics. The Open Group President and CEO Steve Nunn welcomed the audience and announced that a day after launch, the IT4IT™ Certification Program already had over 50 certified people signed up. The certification is achieved by individuals who demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture, Version 2.0 standard.  Steve was then joined on stage by The Open Group CTO Dave Lounsbury, to discuss digital transformation and enabling digital business, with a focus on IT’s critical role in helping to achieve this.

Tuesday’s plenary sessions then got underway, with a highly entertaining presentation from Ron Tolido, Senior VP, Group CTO Office, Global Insights & Data Practice, CapGemini. Ron used numerous Game of Thrones references to explain how the open business data lake could be a blueprint for agile, data-driven businesses. He was quick to point out though that data ran the risk of appearing to a business in many elephant-themed guises; be it the “white elephant” driving up costs, the “Dumbo”, i.e. a fantasy, or the ”elephant in the room” than nobody wants to mention. To summarize, Ron, continuing his Game of Thrones-themed talk, argued that we need “burning [big data] platforms that are the pièce de résistance of Enterprise Architecture”.

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications

Steve Nunn, Ron Tolido

It was then the turn of Sven van Wilpen, Business Architect, Fokker Industries, and Stuart Boardman, Enterprise Architect, Resilient EA, to discuss digitization in the aerospace industry and more specifically, the Fokker Factory. Coincidentally, elephants reared their collective trunks for the second time in the morning, when Stuart described the role of the architect as herding elephants.

One of the most interesting discussion points that emerged from this presentation was around change management, and it became clear that Fokker was putting some great process in place to support stakeholders who have to deal with the change. Not only that, but it needed to be made clear to them why change would make their lives better. Stuart also talked about implementing the right kind of change, highlighting the fact that when you make a process digital, it works differently. Don’t just digitize that manual process, but change the process itself.

After the coffee break, Steve Nunn made a presentation to Serge Thorn with HSBC, in recognition of his tireless work on The Open Group Architecture Forum TOGAF Localization Committee.  TOGAF® is an Open Group standard.

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications

Serge Thorn, Steve Nunn

At this point, Steve handed the reins over to Wipro’s Chief Enterprise Architect & Head of Academy of EA, Pallab Saha for the rest of the morning session, to talk first about the relevance of Enterprise Architecture for India, and then about how it is helping to turn aspiration into inspiration to make digital government a reality.

Pallab talked in great detail about the e-Pragati project, which was designed to bring all government services under one roof to illustrate this. He described it as a new paradigm in governance, based on a whole-of-government framework that transcends departmental boundaries. Helpfully, Pallab also showcased a great video that explained the initiative in more detail and it is interesting to note that this regional project is being championed as best practice for other provinces in India.

The afternoon saw the conversations split into separate tracks, focused on Healthcare, Open Platform 3.0™, ArchiMate®, and a series of TOGAF® 9 tutorials, including:

  • History of The Open Group Healthcare Forum, Jason Lee, Director, Healthcare Forum, The Open Group
  • Architecting Customer Experience: Driving Transformative Digital Business, Trishit Baran Sengupta, Enterprise Architect, Wipro
  • Using TOGAF®, ArchiMate® and Open FAIR for Business Driven InfoSec, Thorbjørn Ellefsen, Managing Business Analyst, Capgemini
  • Creating an EA for Genesis Housing Association, Michelle Supper, Enterprise and System Architect, Science Inspired Ltd

The second day of the London event concluded with a networking dinner at Emirates Stadium – home of the Arsenal Football Club. In addition to a private tour of the stadium, guests enjoyed live music and a scrumptious dinner.  Allen Brown, former CEO of The Open Group, was announced as a Fellow, an honor bestowed upon only a select few for their immense dedication and body of work at The Open Group.

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications

@theopengroup #ogLON

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications

Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, joined The Open Group in 2013 and spearheads corporate marketing initiatives, primarily the website, blog, media relations and social media. Loren has over 20 years experience in brand marketing and public relations and, prior to The Open Group, was with The Walt Disney Company for over 10 years. Loren holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University. She is based in the US.

 

 

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Filed under Boundaryless Information Flow™, Cloud, Data Lake, Digital Transformation, EA, Enterprise Transformation, interoperability, IoT, open platform 3.0, Standards, Steve Nunn, The Open Group London 2016, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

The Open Group London 2016 – Day One Highlights

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, The Open Group

On Monday, April 25th, The Open Group London 2016 kicked off with an opening speech from The Open Group President and CEO Steve Nunn to a packed room at the Central Hall Westminster.  The magnificent venue is just a stone’s throw from the iconic Westminster Abbey. Almost 300 guests from 27 countries around the globe have joined this exciting, informative event.

After a warm welcome and a recap of the successes of The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum to date – including the launch of the Standard and Management Guide – Steve went on to announce the launch of the IT4IT™ Certification Program.

The IT4IT Foundation Certification is now available to individuals who demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture, Version 2.0 standard. The first level of certification being launched provides validation that the candidate has gained knowledge of the terminology, structure, basic concepts, and understands the core principles of the IT4IT Reference Architecture and the IT Value Chain.

Monday’s plenary sessions continued the focus on  IT4IT, beginning with a presentation from Tony Price, Director, WW IT4IT Strategic Consulting, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Erik van Busschbach, World-Wide Chief Technologist for IT Management, HPE Software Services CTO Office, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Erik and Tony explained how organizations can use IT4IT to move away from talking about Architecture towards discussions around business value. Every audience wants value but they all perceive this value in different ways. Tony explained the importance of contextualizing value to individuals in order for it to be effective.

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications

Erik van Busschbach, Tony Price, Steve Nunn

The IT4IT discussion also featured a joint presentation on ‘Managing the Business of IT’ from Michael Fulton, Principal Architect, CC&C Solutions; David Hornford, Managing Partner, Conexiam; Luke Bradley, Principle Architect, Technology Shared Services Centre, Vodafone Group; David Gilmour, Director, Panastra Pte Ltd, Singapore.

The speakers went into detail about the impact IT4IT can have on an organization. Mike Fulton started with the basics of IT4IT and the Value Chain model, before going on to discuss where IT4IT fits into TOGAF®, an Open Group standard, COBIT and Agile. Luke Bradley provided insight into how IT4IT was being used at Vodafone Group, where there are four main areas of transformation – process, service model, organization, and technology. The importance of getting away from bulk renewal projects and moving towards smaller sensible building blocks was stressed by David Gilmour, who also explained how IT4IT was a “jolly good thing” for business, which raised a smile in the packed-out room.

Gunnar Menzel, Vice President & Chief Architect Officer, ‎Capgemini, came to the stage proudly displaying his medal from the London Marathon from the day before the event – many congratulations to him for a fantastic time of 03:52:15! His presentation focused on how IT4IT can help with Agile DevOps. Businesses that realize DevOps’ full potential are more agile in providing new products and services and can deliver superior quality, but enterprises often encounter difficulties due to the growing number of product choices, definitions and services.

Gunnar directed delegates to The Open Group whitepaper, ‘IT4IT™ Agile Scenario’, which was released in February 2016 and includes a DevOps definition, DevOps Maturity Model as well as a DevOps Implementation framework.

The final session before Monday’s break for lunch came from Henry Franken, CEO at BiZZdesign and chair of The ArchiMate® Forum at The Open Group. Henry presented the results of a survey looking at business transformation, noting that a “business as usual” approach is preventing effective business transformation, along with a lack of strategic design insights and a lack of organizational commitment. He explained how businesses should be taking small steps to embrace change, collaborate on change and make sure to utilize techniques to digitize change capabilities.

The afternoon saw additional tracks taking place on IT4IT, Security and Enterprise Architecture, including:

  • Trusted and Secure OpenStack Cloud, Shawn Mullen, Cloud Security Architect, IBM, US
  • Seven Reasons IT4IT™ is Good News for Architects, Daniel Warfield, Senior Enterprise Architect, CC&C Americas
  • A Future for Enterprise Architecture, Len Fehskens, Chief Editor, Association of Enterprise Architects
  • Mils Initiatives: Emerging Open Group Standards for Modular Approach to Critical Systems, Rance DeLong, Staff Scientist – EC Projects, The Open Group

Sally Long, Director of The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF), also presented on OTTF in a session which focused on cybersecurity and supply chain risks, how the standard and the accreditation can address them, and what steps organizations can take to assure products are more secure and enterprises stay safe. The presentation was a recap of a recently recorded webinar which can be found here.

Robert Wiesman, CEO at Build the Vision Inc., took the opportunity to discuss his use of EA as a business technique to conduct Architecture-based planning for a huge business transformation.

After a full day of sessions, the first day of the London event concluded with drinks and networking at the Central Hall Westminster.

@theopengroup #ogLON

By Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing CommunicationsLoren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, joined The Open Group in 2013 and spearheads corporate marketing initiatives, primarily the website, blog, media relations and social media. Loren has over 20 years experience in brand marketing and public relations and, prior to The Open Group, was with The Walt Disney Company for over 10 years. Loren holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University. She is based in the US.

 

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Filed under Accreditations, ArchiMate, ArchiMate®, Boundaryless Information Flow™, Certifications, digital business, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, interoperability, IT4IT, OTTF, standards, Steve Nunn, The Open Group London 2016, TOGAF®, TOGAF®

Ensuring Successful Enterprise Architecture by Following Kotter’s Eight Stage Journey

By Stuart Macgregor, CEO, Real IRM Solutions and The Open Group South Africa

These industry insights look at John Kotter’s eight stages of change management, and explore his timeless blueprint for effective change leadership. These change management principles can gel with an enterprise architecture (EA) roadmap to achieve business transformation.

The company’s EA practice is viewed as the engine room that powers the move towards transformation, and not the end-goal in itself. However, Kotter’s eight stages have a huge role to play in the development of an EA practice.

Stage 1 – Establishing urgency

The journey begins with breaking new ground, jolting people out of their comfort zones, and forcing them to deal with often uncomfortable realities. Change, in general, is something people tend to resist – and one of the first tasks for change agents is to overcome the powerful forces of tradition.

This stage requires executives to arrive at a brutally honest assessment of the company as it currently stands. It means exposing issues that may hinder growth and adaption in the future. It involves assessing the market realities, confronting macro, global forces – and identifying all the possible crises, barriers, sources of resistance, as well as potential opportunities.

Most importantly, it requires leaders and change agents to start removing the sources of complacency within the company. In other words, they must refute the reasons that some use to believe change isn’t necessary, or that the cost of change will be too great.

Establishing (or reinvigorating) the company’s EA practice is vital in making a successful start on the change journey.

EA rises to the fore as the primary toolset that will enable lasting positive change. It guides the company from a state of fragmented applications, organisational structures and processes – and builds an integrated and optimised environment.

In short, EA fuses the business model imperatives and the IT portfolio.

Establishing a sense of urgency among key stakeholders (a process that is triggered by the company CEO) makes the formation of change leadership structures possible. From an architectural perspective, these are bodies like business architecture governance committees, architecture review boards, and IT steering committees.

Without adequate governance, enterprise architecture will remain a theoretical concept that will fail to deliver any transformational business benefits. This, in fact, moves the process neatly on to stage two…

Stage 2 – Creating the guiding coalition

Kotter shows that a strong, core team (the “guiding coalition”) lies at the heart of any good change strategy. From there, the message of change radiates outwards to stakeholders throughout the broader company and its extended ecosystem.

Importantly, this coalition must possess people with one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Position of power… from executives, to line managers, to others with an influential stature in the enterprise, it is essential to enlist the support of decision-makers at an early stage.
  • Expertise… team members with diverse skill sets and points of view, and experience in many of the key areas of the enterprise.
  • Credibility… those involved in the coalition need to have strong reputations and the ability to sway the mindsets of others that are hesitant to buy in to the change strategy.
  • Leadership… it is essential for the team to include proven leaders who are capable of the kind of visionary, strategic thinking that the coalition will demand.

The team is pulled together by mutual trust, a shared vision for the future, and a passion to achieve these common goals. While at this stage the end-state of business transformation may not be in view, there is a shared recognition that the company needs to change the way it operates.

From an EA perspective, this guiding coalition sets the tone where EA starts to be viewed as a business entity of sorts. In a fully functioning EA practice, the company manages its ‘stock in trade’ (the corporate intellectual capital), and assembles the various components into EA products and services that address specific stakeholder requirements.

By starting to run the EA practice as if it was like a business in itself, even at these early stages, the coalition sets out on the right path – one that will eventually see the company formalising and packaging intellectual capital, and turning it into a corporate asset.

The business model will work if the various stakeholders within the company receive more value than their perceived cost of contribution. For example, HR may benefit from having a clear map of everyone’s role profile; internal audit may value the accurate view of weaknesses in the company’s internal processes. Something of a virtuous feedback loop develops.

Stage 3 – Developing a vision and strategy

In Kotter’s third stage – “developing a vision and strategy” – the guiding coalition sets to work on crafting the vision of change and transformation.

This typically runs as an iterative, sometimes even messy, process. Many different perspectives from the various stakeholders are considered, as different role-players provide a number of alternative ways to approach problems and reach goals.

As Kotter reiterates, this is a stage that encompasses both the head and the heart. It is a dynamic process that sees the value of strong teamwork rising to the fore – as the guiding coalition eventually settles on a unified approach..

A shared vision

Because of this complexity, the coalition can take weeks, even many months, to achieve a coordinated strategy for the future. Once established, a key contribution of the enterprise architecture (EA) practice is reducing the time taken to produce deliverables – such as the business capability map, for example.

Developing the vision requires the coalition spearhead a number of initial EA work-streams.

To begin with, a set of initial readiness assessments need to be conducted. These provide a clear barometer of where the organisation currently stands, in terms of the maturity and health of its existing EA practice, or its ability to easily embed a new EA framework. The assessments play a vital role in informing the vision for the future state.

Creating a library of definitions is an important early stage activity that ensures all the key stakeholders start from a common understanding of what EA, and a number of other important concepts and terminologies, really means.

Each of these needs to be considered across three dimensions: EA domains, the EA continuum and the EA architecture practice:

  • EA domains consist of business architecture, information architecture, data architecture, applications architecture, and technology architecture.
  • The EA continuum considers reference models at a group/enterprise level, an individual business or divisional level, as well as at product application and product focus level.
  • The EA architecture practice spans the areas of EA products and services, EA people, EA content (models, principles, standards, inventory, etc), as well as processes and tools.

Guiding principles are formulated across these three dimensions and serve as input to EA vision and strategy.

So, what exactly does the vision need to look like? While there is no singular approach to this, Kotter outlines a number of important characteristics inherent in any good vision that a guiding coalition composes.

He says it must be imaginable, desirable, feasible, focused, and flexible. Finally, it must be simple to communicate (something I will look at more closely in my next Industry Insight).

A guiding coalition

As the vision starts to crystallise, the coalition segments it into different work-streams – and assigns champions to each of these. Having individuals accountable for every aspect of the vision creates a strong sense of ownership, and ensures essential aspects are never overlooked.

It is only by following this thorough approach to developing the vision that the company can address its core system challenges at a root cause level, and overcome the well-worn situation of endless ‘quick fixes’.

It must be imaginable, desirable, feasible, focused, and flexible.

Too often, budget and time constraints force companies to address only the surface symptoms – by implementing disjointed, piecemeal improvements that fail to address the underlying issues, and serve to undermine the company’s EA practice.

These kinds of vicious cycles start circling throughout the organisation. As its structures become increasingly dependent on ad hoc quick fixes, they are continually weakened. In today’s competitive market environments, this is something that businesses can ill afford to let happen.

But, by following the vigorous approach to strategy and vision creation, the guiding coalition ultimately arrives at a strategic plan that describes how the business will transition, what the end-state will look like, and where investments, energy and focus need to be directed.

As everyone buys into the vision, change agents foster a better understanding of the ‘customer’ (internal stakeholders within the enterprise), the ‘products’ (the capabilities made possible by the EA practice), and how these products will be structured and packaged to address particular business needs.

Stage 4 – Communicating the vision

From the outset, the guiding coalition is responsible for communicating the EA vision to a nucleus group of stakeholders. As the EA practice develops momentum, the communication emanates outwards, to an increasingly broad group of stakeholders within the business.

Clearly, in this phase, timing is everything.

Over time, the EA practice evolves from its fledgling state, to greater levels of maturity. As this happens, the nature of the messages will change.

John Kotter (who advises on the eight stages of change management) says the communication needs to contain the following characteristics:

  • Simplicity (eliminating jargon and verbosity)
  • Metaphor-rich (pictures are worth a thousand words)
  • Multiple forums (leadership sessions, team meetings, newsletters, Intranets, etc)
  • Repetition (to reinforce the key messages and ensure they ‘sink in’)
  • Leadership by example (conduct from leadership that aligns with the communications and messaging)
  • Explaining apparent inconsistencies (address everything that seems counterintuitive or illogical, to avoid the communication being undermined)
  • Two-way communication (involving a feedback loop wherever possible greatly increases engagement and empowerment levels)

Put simply, the goal of this phase is to ensure the right staff are provided with the right information, at the right time – and empowered to work constructively within the new EA framework.

The advantages of formalising corporate intellectual property and establishing an EA practice need to be clearly articulated – at both an individual level and a company-wide level. If the EA vision is not clearly understood, people will very quickly disengage. They will revert to old habits and frameworks of working, and the timelines for the EA practice to start delivering business value will increase.

Too often, the coalition becomes overly enamoured with EA as a discipline – too ‘inwardly-focused’ – and forgets about the importance of communicating regularly with key stakeholders, business owners, and decision-makers across the organisation.

In fact, there is a continuum, ranging on the one end from the purist that “sits in an Ivory Tower” and becomes too academic and removed from the business, to the other end of the spectrum, with an EA practice experienced in the realities of the company, knows its challenges (eg, political, technical, legacy-related), and takes a pragmatic approach to EA.

The latter is the approach most likely to succeed in generating a sustainable and value-adding EA practice.

Over time, the EA practice evolves from its fledgling state to greater levels of maturity.

Here I use the analogy of running the EA practice like a business in itself: through delivering value to stakeholders one builds a relationship where people willingly engage with the EA practice. In this ideal scenario, positive word of mouth is created – which becomes one of the most valuable forms of internal communication.

Another very impactful form of communicating the vision is when the coalition exemplifies the behaviour it is seeking to establish in others, and ‘leads by example’. By becoming a role model, the coalition is more likely to succeed in its quest to develop new ways of working within the broader company.

Stage 5 – Empowering action

But communication alone is not enough. Ensuring the broad-based empowerment of people involves doing the following:

  • Teams need to understand the vision for business transformation and the EA value proposition that will enable it. Individuals must internalise this, consider what it means to them, and truly buy into the vision. They, in turn, will become ‘marketers’ of the company’s EA practice – articulating the vision to other stakeholders.
  • Teams need to receive quality, comprehensive training on the EA disciplines and activities as they relate to the individual’s particular function within the company. They must be empowered with the architecture content that allows them to start harvesting information.
  • From there, teams need to populate all of this existing content (such as business strategies, IT strategies, existing applications portfolios, etc) into an integrated EA repository, fully embedded in the organisation.
  • An EA methodology – such as TOGAF – is customised and tailored to the company. This means aligning the EA process with the systems development life cycle, strategic planning, corporate governance, and business process improvement, for example.
  • Any barriers, at any stage, need to be swiftly removed, so individuals are unleashed to work and to add value within the new framework.

Stage 6 – Generating short-term wins

Quick wins, even on a small scale, become the catalyst to building momentum in enterprise architecture.

By this point in the process of business transformation, the company has established and communicated the vision for change, and then begun the process of empowering the right teams to start executing on that vision.

Now, as it starts to package some of the early-phase model content, it becomes crucial for the fledgling enterprise architecture (EA) practice to generate some quick wins. Demonstrating tangible business value, even on a small scale, helps to maintain the interest of key stakeholders, and ensures the momentum doesn’t start to wane.

In fact, a virtuous cycle should begin to emerge: as the EA practice develops the operational capability to satisfy some business needs, stakeholders begin to recognise the business value. This leads to positive word-of-mouth being spread throughout the company, which in turn stimulates increased levels of demand from various quarters.

Ultimately, this demand translates into increased willingness to invest in the EA journey. With greater levels of buy-in, the EA practice’s operational capabilities continue to expand, and the cycle continues.

Stage 7 – Success breeds success

Short-term wins become the catalyst to building momentum in EA. John Kotter says these early successes are vital for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • Providing evidence that sacrifices are worth it: many staff within the coalition and other areas of the business have invested great time and energy in getting to this point.
  • Reward change agents with a pat on the back: adding business value is the biggest recognition of success.
  • Help fine-tune vision and strategies: insights learned from practically applying EA can be fed back into the strategic thinking.
  • Undermine cynics and self-serving resisters: tangible EA successes start to erode the credibility of naysayers.
  • Keep bosses on board: maintaining the support of line managers, executives, and other senior stakeholders happens naturally
  • Build momentum: more and more people are drawn into the developing EA practice, as people want to associate with a ‘success story’.

It goes without saying that these short-term wins need to be built on a sustainable and professional EA practice. The foundations must be strong – so the content can be easily accessed, and re-used for further process improvement in other areas of the business.

As the demand for business transformation increases, the EA practice needs to manage expectations and delivery. The EA team cannot take on ‘too much’ in the early stages, and be seen as the team that slows things down, or hampers innovation and change.

Essentially, the value that stakeholders derive from EA needs to continually exceed their perceived cost of contribution.

As the practice reaches out into the broader company, new opportunities emerge for specialists to contribute their unique insights. To keep the right people on the team, the company also needs to attend to human capital issues, like:

  • Ensuring key EA staff members have professional development paths and the opportunities to further their formal qualifications.
  • Providing mentoring (from within the organisation, or by pulling in outside mentors).
  • Performance management processes that ensure staff are accurately rewarded for their performance.

With the right team in place, the lead architect’s focus can shift from the everyday EA operations to higher-value activities. These include continually engaging with executives from across the business – to extend the scope of the EA practice and ensure it remains relevant and value-adding.

The value that stakeholders derive from EA needs to continually exceed their perceived cost of contribution.

The lead architect and the team can concentrate on understanding the potentially disruptive “nexus of forces” (cloud, mobility, big data and social), conducting impact assessments, scenario planning, and implementing new strategies.

The architecture team is then operating on all three levels – strategic, tactical and operational; and facilitating learning across the enterprise.

In this way, the chief architect and his EA team start to position themselves as trusted advisors and business partners to the company – becoming a crucial leadership support function. Ultimately, the true measure of the EA team’s worth is the extent to which the company engages with it, and the extent to which business transformation has been realised.

Stage 8 – Making it stick

Shifting from a state of architecture execution to architecture leadership is the next step in the EA journey.

Kotter’s final stage guides an organisation on the optimum ways that change can be embedded, anchored and matured. From an Enterprise Architecture (EA) perspective, these phases relate to the ‘professionalising’ of the EA practice.

Earlier, we looked at generating tangible “early wins” in the EA practice, and how they can echo throughout the organisation, as positive word-of-mouth spreads. The next step is to build on this momentum and to establish EA across every layer of processes, people, content, and tools, and products/services.

So, what are the hallmarks of a mature-state EA practice?

  • Entrenching the ethos of “running the EA practice like a business”… The foundation of the ‘business model’ includes five process areas: managing the business, enhancing market reputation, winning better business, delivering valued solutions, and growing the EA capability. In this way, resource allocation remains tightly synced with business need.
  • Innovation… EA essentially manages intellectual capital as an asset, translating tacit individual knowledge into organisational assets, in the form of models – which fuels constant innovation. Ideas are crowd-sourced from employees and partner ecosystems, and then analysed and prioritised according to business impact.
  • Strategic planning is dynamic and living… As intellectual capital becomes formalised as a corporate asset, the company can perform strategic planning at a higher level. This enables it to respond with agility to any changes in the external environment, as well as evolving business models within the company walls.
  • Business processes and capabilities become optimised… integrated business processes are naturally (willingly) enforced across the business. Process owners and system custodians focus on the right business capabilities and continually optimise processes.
  • Investment… The organisation targets its technology investment on IT assets that support identified and measurable business objectives, all within the framework of EA.

These fundamentals represent a shift from a state of “EA execution” to what can be referred to as “architecture leadership”.

In this state of advanced EA maturity, EA should also be repositioned and de-coupled from the IT department. Ideally, EA practice leaders should be moved to the office of the CEO, reporting to a function such as transformation management.

One of the most important facets of successfully transitioning from isolated early wins to EA leadership, which is embedded throughout the company, is ensuring key people are retained. The departure of important individuals can have catastrophic consequences at this stage – meaning EA never becomes entrenched.

For this reason, successful business leaders place a high emphasis on training, mentoring and further developing the EA teams. As ambitions soar, and people develop a passion for EA, industry bodies like The Open Group provide a useful outlet for this energy.

By contributing to the industry standards that are developed by The Open Group, individuals enjoy a greater sense of purpose – a tangible feeling that they are working on ‘something bigger’. Added to this, new opportunities open up, to develop their careers and networks.

For the company, this represents something of a win-win situation. By retaining these key specialists, it ensures the EA programme does not suffer interruptions or collapses.

As the success of the EA practice continues and the solution base expands, a virtuous cycle develops momentum: more and more ‘customers’ within the company start benefiting from EA, and more and more people are willing to invest in it.

The change process speeds up and becomes smoother; the ambit of EA broadens, and starts to influence every aspect of the business – including things like strategy planning, risk management, business transformation, and even mergers and acquisitions.

The essence of EA – that of managing complexity and change – is never forgotten. This new world requires new ways of thinking to address challenges and grab opportunities. Simply put, firms that continue to perpetuate old practices, will be left in the dust.

I’ll leave you with one of the pioneers of EA, John Zachman, who succinctly describes this essential fact:

“Increasing flexibility and reducing time to market… will only happen with responsible and intellectual investment, in developing and maintaining Enterprise Architecture, to deliver quality information, to produce a quality enterprise.”

By Stuart Macgregor, CEO, Real IRMStuart Macgregor is the CEO, Real IRM Solutions and  The Open Group South Africa. Through his personal achievements, he has gained the reputation of an Enterprise Architecture and IT Governance specialist, both in South Africa and internationally.

 

Macgregor participated in the development of the Microsoft Enterprise Computing Roadmap in Seattle. He was then invited by John Zachman to Scottsdale, Arizona to present a paper on using the Zachman framework to implement ERP systems. In addition, Macgregor was selected as a member of both the SAP AG Global Customer Council for Knowledge Management, and of the panel that developed COBIT 3rd Edition Management Guidelines. He has also assisted a global Life Sciences manufacturer to define their IT Governance framework, a major financial institution to define their global, regional and local IT organizational designs and strategy. He was also selected as a core member of the team that developed the South African Breweries (SABMiller) plc global IT strategy.

Stuart, as the lead researcher, assisted the IT Governance Institute map CobiT 4.0 to TOGAF®. This mapping document was published by ISACA and The Open Group. He participated in the COBIT 5 development workshop held in London in 2010.

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The Open Group London 2016 to Take Place April 25-28

By The Open Group

The Open Group, the vendor-neutral IT consortium, is hosting an event in London, April 25-28. Following on from the San Francisco event earlier this year, The Open Group London 2016 will focus on how Enterprise Architecture is enabling organizations to build better systems through architecting for digital business strategies.

The event will be held at Central Hall Westminster and key speakers include:

  • Steve Nunn,  President & CEO, The Open Group
  • Gunnar Menzel, VP, Chief Architect Officer, Capgemini Infrastructure
  • Shawn Mullen, Cloud Security Architect, IBM
  • Nemanja Kostic, Head of Application Architecture, Zurich Insurance
  • Gururaj Anjan, Enterprise Architect, Tata Consultancy Services

Full details on the range of speakers can be found here.

Monday’s keynote session, including presentations from both vendors and end-user organizations, will look at IT4IT™ and managing the business of IT. It will address how CIOs can go beyond current process-based approaches and equip their teams with the right information and tools to support new ecosystem collaborations, completely automate end-to-end workflows, and provide the business with the controls to govern IT.

The first UK/European TOGAF® User Group meeting will also take place on April 27. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with industry peers, expand their knowledge and collaborate to bring a strong user community.  The inaugural TOGAF User Group meeting in San Francisco earlier this year was very productive and engaging.

The London event will cover key themes relating to The Open Group industry forums including Healthcare, IT4IT, Open Platform 3.0™, and Risk, Dependability & Trusted Technology. Additional topics of discussion at the three-day event will include:

  • EA & Government – the increasing awareness of EA and the growing adoption of TOGAF® in India. Plenary presentations include a focus on the e-Pragati initiative of the state of Andhra Pradesh
  • ArchiMate® – New features and practical use cases
  • The Open Business Data Lake a reference architecture that demonstrates how to leverage more internal and external data, how to be more agile in creating insights for business value and how to improve the productivity of actually delivering it

Registration for The Open Group London event is open now, available to members and non-members, and can be found here.

Get event updates via Twitter – @theopengroup #ogLON

Sponsors and exhibitors include: avolution, BiZZdesign, Good e-Learning, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Troux by Planview, Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA), Orbus, Van Haren Publishing, itSMF UK

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UNIX®: Allowing Engineers to Engineer

By Darrell May, Senior Principal Software Engineer, Oracle®

Oracle® Solaris innovation is due in part to the UNIX® standard,[1] the test suites,[2] and the certification.[3] By conforming to the standard, using the test suites[4] and driving to certification, Oracle® Solaris software engineers can rely on stable interfaces an assurance that any regressions will be found quickly given more than 50,000 test cases.[5] The old analogy was to build a good building in which you must have a strong foundation applies here. UNIX creates that foundation through stable and reliable interfaces where functional behaviors are predictable for both systems and userland development.

Developers (and users) benefit by not having to relearn command line interface semantics helps focus energy on innovation. UNIX is the “foundation” of Oracle® Solaris but also it helps Oracle® Solaris to be a foundation for other system or userland software engineering. Enterprise developers can be confident that the foundation won’t change out from under them from release to release.

An often-overlooked aspect of standards and the UNIX standard in particular is that they do not restrict the underlying implementation. This is important particularly because it allows innovation “under the hood”. As long as the semantics and behavior of a system call are preserved, you can implement any way you want. Operating systems developers can come up with better algorithms, improved performance, tie into hardware offload (see Oracle’s Software in Silicon innovation[6]) etc., to improve the efficiency of the call. Even better is that application developers get those benefits without having change the application source code to take advantage of it. As a system software developer it is a great feeling to deliver the benefit of improved features, security performance, scalability, stability, etc.,[7] while not having a negative impact on application developers using Oracle® Solaris.

By Darrell May, Senior Principle Software Engineer, OracleDarrell May is a Senior Principle Software Engineer for Oracle® Solaris with his current focus on serviceability, manageability and observability. He has a long history navigating the system stack from firmware to drivers to kernel to userspace identifying, designing and delivering solutions for the most difficult challenges. He is particularly passionate about enabling engineers to do engineering, facilitating customers’ business and driving innovation in the products that he works on.

UNIX® is a registered trademark of The Open Group.  Oracle® and Oracle® Solaris are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation.

[1] http://www.opengroup.org/standards/unix

[2] http://www.opengroup.org/testing/testsuites/unix.html

[3] http://www.opengroup.org/subjectareas/platform/unix

[4] http://www.opengroup.org/testing/testsuites/vsx4over.htm

[5] http://www.opengroup.org/testing/testsuites/vsc5over.htm

[6] http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/softwareinsilicon/index.html

[7] https://www.oracle.com/solaris/solaris11/index.html

 

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