Category Archives: Professional Development

Using Apprenticeships to Develop Your IT Workforce: A Conversation with Andy Ruth

By The Open Group

It’s no secret that the IT workforce is suffering from a skills gap. Not only are there not enough workers available to fill tech positions at many companies, but even the workers available may not possess the skills that companies need today to deal with the rapid changes being brought about by digital transformation.

Andy Ruth, Managing Director of Sustainable Evolution, spoke at The Open Group Austin 2016 in July about one way companies can tackle the skills gap—apprenticeship programs. We spoke with Andy about the state of the IT workforce, why apprenticeship works and how it can help bring a new and more diverse population of workers into the IT workforce.

What are some of the things currently stymieing the IT work force?

There are a couple different things that are really a challenge. We have an older workforce that is being replaced in large part by a younger workforce. That younger workforce is smaller and many don’t have fundamental knowledge of what’s going on under the covers because they grew up learning in a world with higher levels of abstraction. For instance, if someone learns Python or Rails, they may not have the deeper understanding and stronger foundations that they might if they were to start with C or C+. I was coaching a kid that’s going to MIT, and he asked ‘What do I need to do while I’m there?’ I suggested he build an operating system for one of the new IoT processors and learn the C language. He countered with ‘Well, C’s not in use anymore and nobody builds operating systems,’ to which I said, ‘Perhaps, but that builds deep understanding and good fundamentals. You’ll know how things work and you can think deeply about it. That’s what you need is that foundation, just like you need to be able to do simple math before algebra, trig and physics.’ So, I think part of it is the shift in what and how the workforce learns.

We also are in a time of such tremendous change in IT. IT is about people, process and technology. In the past we have had big shifts in technology, then we change process and people to match. Right now we have change in all three, each having an impact on the other two. Technology change is the easiest to adopt since we are geeks and naturally track it. Process change is a bit more challenging and not as interesting, so a bit harder. People are the hardest to change because they like working the way they like to work. They don’t like to be told what to do or how to do it, and really don’t feel they need someone to tell them they need to change. Having change in people, process and technology at the same time is disruptive to people.

The change is especially hard for architects since we typically have a number of years in the industry and everything is completely different from what we grew up with. We are responsible for planning the changes needed to people, process and technology, and if we haven’t experienced it we don’t know how to get started. Also, a lot of us want to stick with the old ways or haven’t needed to change yet. We used to ask ourselves if we should still code as an architect, now if we are not coding we are not relevant.

We’ve also changed the way we develop software and the way that IT works altogether. We shifted from waterfall to agile approaches, and now DevOps is the latest approach. With architecture, we no longer have the luxury of doing heavy design and evaluation. Rather, we get started and learn as we go. If we take the wrong path, we start over. I think that it’s a challenge across the board. Worst of all, many of us haven’t worked in modern IT environments so we’re not able to teach the younger folks how to be successful in the new paradigm. Unless people have been in a start-up environment, they probably haven’t worked in the modern IT workspace.

Why is there a disconnect between the skills IT people are learning and what the workforce requires?

Two groups of people need education or reeducation. Let me address the new workforce or kids going to college first. It takes about three years to get a curriculum change into the college system, so there is a natural lag. Some colleges work closely with start-up companies or big comm and those colleges can make the change fairly quickly. For the colleges working with some of the older echelon companies that have been playing it safe, they don’t have the awareness of what’s going on in the industry, so they’re slower to change their curriculum—those are the two key pieces.

In terms of the workforce at large and their reeducation, IT has been run the same way for a long time and business has run so close to the bone. There are a lot of companies that are not operating in SOA environments and are not ready for the digital transformation going on right now. People have not been able to apply modern IT techniques at work, and hands-on is the best way to learn. Since they haven’t changed, a lot of existing staff haven’t learned the new technologies and approaches.

In the early 2000s we shifted from a structured and composed N-tier environment to decomposed integration (SOA) environments. Some companies have adopted that and some haven’t. Now we’re moving from SOA on-premise to leveraging the Cloud. People and organizations who haven’t adopted SOA yet have to take two major leaps with their people, process and technology. A majority of companies are in that boat, where they have to shift to service orientation and then have to figure out how to design for the cloud. That is two gigantic leaps, and people can take one leap at a time—often unwillingly, but they can take it. When they have to jump two levels, it kills them and they’re paralyzed.

Is that part of the reason we’re now seeing companies doing bi-modal IT?

Bi-modal or multi-model are needed to successfully adopt modern concepts and complete digital transformation. In some conversations I’ve had, there’s a difference of opinion in what bi-modal means. One is, you have an IT department that runs at two different speeds. The first speed is for the systems of record, and the second is for systems of integration. Another way to put that is that you have a consistent core and you have agility at the edge. When you move from a large system and start decomposing it, you pick off integration pieces and develop using more agile approaches. For the big back-end chunks, you take more time planning and longer timeline efforts.

Another, much more controversial definition of bi-modal is that you gracefully retire the old guard by bringing in fresh talent while modernizing your IT environment. You have the old guard maintain the current environment and the new people work on the transition to the new environment. Once you have enough talent and technology operating in the new environment you deprecate the old. If you can’t get the experienced people to shift to the new ways, they are part of that deprecation process.

What can companies do to better train and maintain employees? That seems to be a continual problem at most companies.

Invest in people and spotlight the ones that are making the shift to modern IT. That’s my passion area. As I have worked with IT groups I’ve seen the retraining budget go from about $14,000 per year per person down to a few thousand dollars down to almost zero. At the same time, there have been massive layoffs occurring all over the place so there’s no loyalty or reason to learn. Experienced people have little or no loyalty to the companies they work for and new entrants only work for a company for about 18 months, then move. If you’re a millennial in any job for more than three years then other millennials start looking at you funny like you can’t get another job. In that type of environment there’s not a lot of emphasis on the company investing in the employee or in the employee having company loyalty.

The way that I’ve been approaching it, and it’s been very successful, is by setting up apprenticeship programs very much like journeymen do in construction, or in hospitals where doctors go through residency programs for on-the-job training. I break the skills acquisition into two pieces—one is the very specific skills for the organization that can’t be taught but need to be experienced through on-the-job training. For instance, I am talking to one organization that needs 250 people on staff that can do integration. They either can’t find the talent or the talent is out of price range or unwilling to move. So I gave them an approach where they take the concept of apprenticeship and bring in people that have the key entry level skills and the right work ethic, and then pair them with someone that’s experienced with integration in that environment. The person being mentored shadows the mentor to see how it’s done, and then the mentor shadows the person being mentored and provides coaching to accelerate the apprentice’s competence. You can do that for the skills associated with business capability.  

The other thing you do is help the apprentice with the foundational skills that are not specific to the job or to a business capability. The interpersonal skills, time management or whatever general skills they need to survive and maintain decent work/life balance. For these type of skills you provide external training and discussion rather than job shadowing. You make the mentor responsible for the care and growth of that individual, and you tie the mentor’s yearly review goals to their success at growing the new talent.

Have you been able to implement that at some specific companies and has it be successful?

I can’t name the companies but yes, I have been able to do it. I have also been operating my company this way to create and improve the process and build out the tools and training to support apprenticeship. I’ve been successful accelerating new workforce entrants into productive employees, and with moving existing staff into more advanced or different roles. I’ve been able to move people from traditional IT shops to agile and DevOps type environments, from dev leads to architects, and from traditional architects to modern IT architects.

The most recent and most exciting is to take kids that are not going to be able to finish college. They have the skill to get a degree but don’t have the money or interest in completing it. I’ve been taking them from doing minimum wage jobs to shifting them over and getting them into the workforce and making them productive. I’ve been able to move people into IT-related jobs as well as other business-related positions.

I apprentice them by using customer journey mapping. I teach them how it works and then have the apprentices transcribe the interviews I record and when I do a whiteboard workshop, I have them transcribe those notes into an Excel spreadsheet. I could do that electronically or with automation, but by having them do it, they learn the overall rhythm and language of business and they start to understand it. Then by talking with them about the customer journey from discovery through support or separation, they understand what the customer journey looks like. They also understand the underpinning interface with the company and how the business works and how they interact with the customer. That has been wildly successful.

With that basic knowledge they learn new skills very quickly, allowing me to focus more on helping them grow a strong work ethic and better time management. I drive through objectives rather than hours worked. I let them manage themselves so they gain a lot of confidence and they drive forward and push themselves. The other thing I do is, for the life skills they may not have, I teach those. For instance, a lot of them don’t know how to budget. I tell them not to budget using money—budget using hours. Think about a cup of Starbucks coffee as 70 minutes of your time in order to pay for it, think of your apartment rent as two weeks work, think of your car as a week’s pay. I get them thinking that way and money becomes tangible, and they get better at budgeting. 

With these entry level people who are transitioning from minimum wage jobs, are they also being hired by a company or are you teaching them the skills and then they go out and get a job?

It works both ways. I’ve helped companies get apprenticeship programs going and also apprenticed people, then they go get jobs or take jobs with the companies I consult with. Before we start, the customer and I agree I’ll be using some unskilled people to help them grow, and in return the company has the opportunity to hire the person when they are ready. I pay my apprentices a living wage as I grow them and expose them to my customers. I’m very transparent about how much they cost me and how much they have to earn to break even, and I tell them that in every business, that’s what they’re looking at. I teach them that, and then as they are introduced to my customers, my customers are welcome to hire them. Gigantic win for my employees and my customers.

This seems like it could be another avenue to help solve some of the diversity problems that the tech community is facing right now. Have you also been looking at apprenticeships in that manner?

Absolutely I have. This is another thing that is near and dear to my heart. The reason that I’m in IT is because my sister went into IT in the mid-1970s. I watched her live through that horrible time for women in IT. I’ve tried to do my part to help create a more diversified workforce in IT. Now my daughter is in IT and her journey was 10 times better than my sister’s. Not perfect, but better. Since then I have worked to identify what is broken and fix it.

I’ve also worked with a lot of kids who are disadvantaged, and I’ve been able to help them move up and into IT. Once they see a way out of their current environment and have hope, and that all it takes is some effort on their part, they are in. They’ve got somebody that believes in them and willing to invest time in them, and they’re all over it, working harder and better than most of the privileged kids that I’ve worked with, or the ones that feel like they’re entitled.

What can employers do to make their employees more loyal these days?

That’s a tough one because when you look at it, millennials are different. The big five leadership indicators manifest different and they are not driven by the same incentives. There’s a big shift with millennials and there will be for future generations but there are a lot of things you can do culturally to address that. A lot have to do with the policies that you have. For instance, companies that allow you to bring a dog in or work remotely or wear jeans and a t-shirt, or bow ties, those little things help.

But what I’ve found is the number one thing that has helped is to have millennials form relationships with the people that have a lot of experience and giving them time to grow relationships and skills. Every millennial I’ve reached out to and worked with has been hungry for the relationship and growth. They don’t want platitudes, they want people who really want to interact with them and have a genuine interest in helping them. Once you show that, big win.  

The other thing you have to do is let them experiment and not put them in a box. You have to put a group of them together and let them figure out their own boundaries and just make it an objective base. I think doing that helps an awful lot. So building those relationships, which you can do through an apprenticeship program and then providing some freedom so they can operate in a different way, those are two of the things you can do. The heavy handed review cycles and trying to either intimidate or incent millennials with money is not going to work. A lot of them have a high-minded idea of the way they world should work, and they’re going to be more loyal if the company they work for represents that or if the manager they work for represents that.

What are some of those ideals that they’re looking for?

Most of them are worried about the world and want it to be a better place. They see the disparity between the highest paid and lowest paid, and they want fairness and to work as a group, and for the group being successful. A lot of their idealism is centered on those concepts, and allowing them volunteer time to work with charities and have outreach programs.

What role can certification programs such as The Open Group’s play in helping to close the skills gap?

It can play a gigantic role by providing frameworks and methodologies that reflect today’s IT environment. I think we also have to shift the way that we do certification and training and a lot of that is starting to happen. We’re starting to move the bar and have a lot more practical and hands-on certifications and training.

I think we need to shift from taking an online course and then going to a place and taking a test to working with and interacting with another person. An example of that is the top certifications for architects that The Open Group has, those are based on defending your experience and going through an interview process with peer members of that group, and them saying yes, this person is what they say. Using a test you can’t do that.

This type of approach makes it a lot more personal. What you will see over time is that people say ‘I had so and so on my board’ or ‘I had this person mentor me,’ and they start talking about their lineage based on the people they’ve worked with in the industry. If we shift more toward that type of validation as opposed to using multiple choice tests, we’ll be a lot better off.

I also think you’ll see hybrid industry/customer certifications just like you see industry/customer training. Someone will join a company and get trained and certified, but that certification will be able to follow the person rather than go away when they leave the company. What you’ll see is when an employee decides to leave, they can take part of the external facing portion of a credential with them, and only lose the internal portion. For the piece they lose, they will rely on their resume.

The other big area where you’ll see a shift in certification is, rather than being tied to technology and platforms, certification will be tied to business capabilities and business outcomes. You’ll certify that someone can build a solution toward a specific business outcome or capability that’s trying to be enabled.

@theopengroup #ogAUS

By The Open GroupAndy started his career in IT as a technical expert in consulting roles and well as staff roles. In the mid-1990s, he shifted from delivering IT capability to delivering training, speaking at conferences and writing books and training covering the IT space. The end of the 1990s Andy joined Microsoft as a subject matter expert working on their public training and certification programs.

He grew to own curriculum development, then certification development, and then creating and delivering new training and certification programs. Additionally, Andy spent time as a role owner, defining job roles, levels, career ladders and compensation models to field-based architects and consultants. Over the last several years, Andy employs his talents as a consultant helping with business and IT strategy, and has a passion for workforce development.

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Filed under Certifications, devops, EA, Enterprise Architecture, enterprise architecture, Internet of Things, IT, operating system, Professional Development, skills gap, Standards, The Open Group, The Open Group Austin 2016, Uncategorized

The Open Group Austin 2016 Event Highlights

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

During the week of July 18th, The Open Group hosted over 200  attendees from 12 countries at the Four Seasons hotel on the beautiful banks of Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas, USA.

On Monday, July 18, Steve Nunn, President and CEO of The Open Group, welcomed the audience and set the stage for all the great upcoming speakers and content.

Steve’s remarks included the recent release of the Open Business Architecture (O-BA) Preliminary Standard Part I to Support Business Transformation.  This is the first in a series of installments that will help Business Architects get to grips with transformation initiatives and manage the demands of key stakeholders within the organization. Steve also referenced William Ulrich, President, Business Architecture Guild, who consulted on the development of the standard.

The plenary began with Jeff Scott, President, Business Innovation Partners, with his presentation “The Future of Business Architecture, Challenges and Opportunities”.  Jeff stated some interesting facts, which included noting that Architects are among the best and brightest members of our organizations.  He also stated that Business Architects need support from a wide group of senior managers, not just the CEO. The ultimate goal of Business Architecture is not to model the organization but to unlock organizational capacity and move forward.

By Loren K. Baynes

Jeff Scott

The Business Architecture (BA) theme continued with Aaron Rorstrom, Principal Enterprise Architect, Capgemini.  Aaron further elaborated on The Open Business Architecture (O-BA) Standard.  The O-BA Standard provides guidance to companies for establishing BA practice and addresses three transformation challenges: consistent communication, alignment and governance, systemic nature.

The sessions were followed by Q&A moderated by Steve Nunn.

Up next was “ArchiMate® 3.0 – A New Standard for Architecture” with Marc Lankhorst, Managing Consultant and Service Line Manager, Enterprise Architect, BiZZdesign and Iver Band, Enterprise Architect, Cambia Health Solutions.

Marc and Iver discussed practical experiences and a Healthcare case study, which included a discussion on personal health and wellness websites.

ArchiMate®, an Open Group standard, provides a language with concepts to describe architectures; a framework to organize these concepts; a graphical notation for these concepts; a vision on visualizations for different stakeholders. ArchiMate 3.0 has recently been released due to: the increasing demand for relating Enterprise Architecture (EA) to business strategy; technology innovations that mix IT and physical world; usage in new domains (i.e. manufacturing, healthcare, retail); improved consistency and comprehensibility; improved alignment between Open Group standards, notably TOGAF®.

The final session of Monday’s plenary featured a panel on “Architecture Standards Development” with Marc Lankhorst, Iver Band, Mike Lambert (Fellow of The Open Group) and Harry Hendrickx (Business Architect, Hewlett Packard Enterprise).  Moderated by Chris Forde, GM, Asia Pacific and VP, Enterprise Architecture, The Open Group, the panel represented a diverse group of the population contributing to the development of open standards.

In the afternoon, sessions were divided into tracks – Security, ArchiMate, Open Business Architecture.

Don Bartusiak, Chief Engineer, Process Control, ExxonMobil Research & Engineering presented “Security in Industrial Controls – Bringing Open Standards to Process Control Systems”.  Don went into detail on the Breakthrough R&D project which is designed to make step-change improvement to reduce cost to replace and to increase value generation via control system.  ExxonMobil is working with The Open Group and others to start-up a consortium of end user companies, system integrators, suppliers, and standards organizations for sustained success of the architecture.

Also featured was “Applying Open FAIR in Industrial Control System Risk Scenarios” by Jim Hietala, VP, Business Development and Security, The Open Group.  The focus of ICS systems is reliability and safety.  Jim also shared some scenarios of recent real life cyberattacks.

The evening concluded with guests enjoying a lively networking reception at the Four Seasons.

Day two on Tuesday, July 19 kicked off the Open Source/Open Standards day with a discussion between Steve Nunn and Andras Szakal, VP & CTO, IBM U.S. Federal. Steve and Andras shared their views on Executable Standards: convergence of creation of open source and innovation standards; the difference between Executable Standards and traditional standards (i.e. paper standards); emergence of open source; ensuring interoperability and standardization becomes more effective of time. They further explored open technology as driving the software defined enterprise with SOA, social, Open Cloud architecture, e-Business, mobile, big data & analytics, and dynamic cloud.

A panel session continued the conversation on Open Standards and Open Source.  The panel was moderated by Dave Lounsbury, CTO and VP, Services for The Open Group.  Panelists were Phil Beauvoir, Archi Product Manager, Consultant; John Stough, Senior Software Architect, JHNA, Inc.; Karl Schopmeyer, Independent Consultant and representing Executable Standards activity in The Open Group.  Topics included describing Archi, Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™, a consortium of The Open Group) and OpenPegasus™, an open-source implementation of the DMTF, CIM and WBEM standards.

The Open Group solves business problems with the development and use of open standards.  Interoperability is key.  Generally, no big barriers exist, but there are some limitations and those must be realized and understood.

Steve presented Karl with a plaque in recognition of his outstanding leadership for over 20 years of The Open Group Enterprise Management Forum and OpenPegasus Project.

Rick Solis, IT Business Architect, ExxonMobil Global Services Co. presented “Driving IT Strategic Planning at IT4IT™ with ExxonMobil”.  Business is looking for IT to be more efficient and add value. ExxonMobil has been successfully leveraging IT4IT concepts and value chain. The IT4IT™ vision is a vendor-neutral Reference Architecture for managing the business of IT.  Rich emphasized people need to think about the value streams in the organization that add up to the business value.  Furthermore, it is key to think seamlessly across the organization.

Joanne Woytek, Program Manager for the NASA SEWP Program, NASA spoke about “Enabling Trust in the Supply Chain”.  SEWP (Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement) is the second biggest IT contract in the US government.  Joanne gave a brief history of their use of standards, experience with identifying risks and goal to improve acquisition process for government and industry.

Andras Szakal again took the stage to discuss mitigating maliciously tainted and counterfeit products with standards and accreditation programs.  The Open Trusted Technology Provider™ Standard (O-TTPS) is an open standard to enhance the security of the global supply chain and the integrity of Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) Information and Communication Technology (ICT). It has been approved as an ISO/IEC international standard.

Afternoon tracks consisted of Healthcare, IT4IT™, Open Platform 3.0™ and Professional Development.  Speakers came from organizations such as IBM, Salesforce, Huawei, HPE and Conexiam.

The evening culminated with an authentic Texas BBQ and live band at Laguna Gloria, a historic lakefront landmark with strong ties to Texas culture.

By Loren K. Baynes

The Open Group Austin 2016 at Laguna Gloria

Wednesday, July 20 was another very full day.  Tracks featured Academia Partnering, Enterprise Architecture, Open Platform 3.0 (Internet of Things, Cloud, Big Data, Smart Cities), ArchiMate®.  Other companies represented include San Jose State University, Quest Diagnostics, Boeing, Nationwide and Asurion.

The presentations are freely available only to members of The Open Group and event attendees.  For the full agenda, please click here.

In parallel with the Wednesday tracks, The Open Group hosted the third TOGAF® User Group Meeting.  The meeting is a lively, interactive, engaging discussion about TOGAF, an Open Group standard.  Steve Nunn welcomed the group and announced there are almost 58,000 people certified in TOGAF.  It is a very large community with global demand and interest.  The key motivation for offering the meeting is to hear from people who aren’t necessarily ‘living and breathing’ TOGAF. The goal is to share what has worked, hasn’t worked and meet other folks who have learned a lot from TOGAF.

Terry Blevins, Fellow of The Open Group, was the emcee.  The format was an “Oxford Style” debate with Paul Homan, Enterprise Architect, IBM and Chris Armstrong, President, Armstrong Processing Group (APG).  The Proposition Declaration: Business Architecture and Business Architects should be within the business side of an organization. Chris took the ‘pro’ position and Paul was ‘con’.

Chris believes there is no misalignment with Business and IT; business got exactly what they wanted.  Paul queried where do the Business Architectures live within the organization? BA is a business-wide asset.  There is a need to do all that in one place.

Following the debate, there was an open floor with audience questions and challenges. Questions and answers covered strategy in Architecture and role of the Architect.

The meeting also featured an ‘Ask the Experts’ panel with Chris Forde; Jason Uppal, Chief Architect, QRS; Bill Estrem, TOGAF Trainer, Metaplexity Associates; Len Fehskens, Chief Editor, Journal of Enterprise Architecture, along with Chris Armstrong and Paul.

Organizations in attendance included BMC Software, City of Austin, Texas Dept. of Transportation, General Motors, Texas Mutual Insurance, HPE, IBM.

A more detailed blog of the TOGAF User Group meeting will be forthcoming.

A special ‘thank you’ to all of our sponsors and exhibitors:  avolution, BiZZdesign, Good e-Learning, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, AEA, Orbus Software, Van Haren Publishing

@the opengroup #ogAUS

Hope to see you at The Open Group Paris 2016! #ogPARIS

By Loren K. BaynesLoren 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®, Association of Enterprise Architects, Business Architecture, Business Transformation, Certifications, Cloud, COTS, Cybersecurity, digital technologies, Digital Transformation, EA, enterprise architecture, Internet of Things, Interoperability, Jeff Kyle, O-TTPS, Open FAIR, Open Platform 3.0, Professional Development, Security, Standards, Steve Nunn, The Open Group Austin 2016, TOGAF®, TOGAF®

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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The Open Group Madrid 2015 – Day One Highlights

By The Open Group

On Monday, April 20, Allen Brown, President & CEO of The Open Group, welcomed 150 attendees to the Enabling Boundaryless Information Flow™ summit held at the Madrid Eurobuilding Hotel.  Following are highlights from the plenary:

The Digital Transformation of the Public Administration of Spain – Domingo Javier Molina Moscoso

Domingo Molina, the first Spanish national CIO, said that governments must transform digitally to meet public expectations, stay nationally competitive, and control costs – the common theme in transformation of doing more with less. Their CORA commission studied what commercial businesses did, and saw the need for an ICT platform as part of the reform, along with coordination and centralization of ICT decision making across agencies.

Three Projects:

  • Telecom consolidation – €125M savings, reduction in infrastructure and vendors
  • Reduction in number of data centers
  • Standardizing and strengething security platform for central administration – only possible because of consolidation of telecom.

The Future: Increasing use of mobile, social networks, online commercial services such as banking – these are the expectations of young people. The administration must therefore be in the forefront of providing digital services to citizens. They have set a transformation target of having citizens being able to interact digitally with all government services by 2020.

Q&A:

  • Any use of formal methods for transformation such as EA? Looked at other countries – seen models such as outsourcing. They are taking a combined approach of reusing their experts and externalizing.
  • How difficult has it been to achieve savings in Europe given labor laws? Model is to re-assign people to higher-value tasks.
  • How do you measure progress: Each unit has own ERP for IT governance – no unified reporting. CIO requests and consolidates data. Working on common IT tool to do this.

An Enterprise Transformation Approach for Today’s Digital Business – Fernando García Velasco

Computing has moved from tabulating systems to the internet and moving into an era of “third platform” of Cloud, Analytics, Mobile and Social (CAMS) and cognitive computing. The creates a “perfect storm” for disruption of enterprise IT delivery.

  • 58% say SMAC will reduce barriers to entry
  • 69% say it will increase competition
  • 41% expect this competition to come from outside traditional market players

These trends are being collected and consolidated in The Open Group Open Platform 3.0™ standard.

He sees the transformation happening in three ways:

  1. Top-down – a transformation view
  2. Meet in the middle: Achieving innovation through EA
  3. Bottom-up: the normal drive for incremental improvement

Gartner: EA is the discipline for leading enterprise response to disruptive forces. IDC: EA is mandatory for managing transformation to third platform.

EA Challenges & Evolution – a Younger Perspective

Steve Nunn, COO of The Open Group and CEO of the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA), noted the AEA is leading the development of EA as a profession, and is holding the session to recognize the younger voices joining the EA profession. He introduced the panelists: Juan Abal, Itziar Leguinazabal, Mario Gómez Velasco, Daniel Aguado Pérez, Ignacio Macias Jareño.

The panelists talked about their journey as EAs, noting that their training focused on development with little exposure to EA or Computer Science concepts. Schools aren’t currently very interested in teaching EA, so it is hard to get a start. Steve Nunn noted the question of how to enter EA as a profession is a worldwide concern. The panelists said they started looking at EA as a way of gaining a wider perspective of the development or administrative projects they were working on. Mentoring is important, and there is a challenge in learning about the business side when coming from a technical world. Juan Abal said such guidance and mentoring by senior architects is one of the benefits the AEA chapter offers.

Q: What advice would you give to someone entering into the EA career? A: If you are starting from a CS or engineering perspective, you need to start learning about the business. Gain a deep knowledge of your industry. Expect a lot of hard work, but it will have the reward of having more impact on decisions. Q: EA is really about business and strategy. Does the AEA have a strategy for making the market aware of this? A: The Spanish AEA chapter focuses on communicating that EA is a mix, and that EAs need to develop business skills. It is a concern that young architects are focused on IT aspects of EA, and how they can be shown the path to understand the business side.

Q: Should EA be part of the IT program or the CS program in schools? A: We have seen around the world a history of architects coming from IT and that only a few universities have specific IT programs. Some offer it at the postgraduate level. The EA is trying globally to raise awareness of the need for EA education. continuing education as part of a career development path is a good way to manage the breadth of skills a good EA needs; organizations should also be aware of the levels of The Open Group Open CA certifications.

Q: If EA is connected to business, should EAs be specialized to the vertical sector, or should EA be business agnostic? A: Core EA skills are industry-agnostic, and these need to be supplemented by industry-specific reference models. Methodology, Industry knowledge and interpersonal skills are all critical, and these are developed over time.

Q: Do you use EA tools in your job? A: Not really – the experience to use complex tools comes over time.

Q: Are telecom companies adopting EA? A: Telecom companies are adopting standard reference architectures. This sector has not made much progress in EA, though it is critical for transformation in the current market. Time pressure in a changing market is also a barrier.

Q: Is EA being grown in-house or outsourced? A: We are seeing increased uptake among end-user companies in using EA to achieve transformation – this is happening across sectors and is a big opportunity in Spain right now.

Join the conversation! @theopengroup #ogMAD

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Enabling the Boundaryless Organization the Goal of The Open Group Madrid Summit 2015

The Open Group, the global vendor-neutral IT consortium, is hosting its latest event in Madrid April 20 – 23 2015. The event is set to build on the success of previous events and focus on the challenge of building a Boundaryless Organization in the face of a range of new IT trends. As organizations look to take advantage of trends such as the Internet of Things and Open Platform 3.0™, the Madrid event will be an opportunity for peers to present and discuss and how the Boundaryless Organization can be achieved and what methods are best to do so.

Objectives of this year’s conference include:

  • Understanding what role Enterprise Architecture as currently practiced plays in Enterprise Transformation, especially transformations driven by merging and disruptive technologies.
  • Showing the need for Boundaryless Information Flow™, which would result in more interoperable, real-time business processes that span throughout all business ecosystems.
  • Understanding how to develop better interoperability and communication across organizational boundaries and pursue global standards for Enterprise Architecture that are highly relevant to all industries.
  • Showing how organizations can achieve their business objectives by adopting new technologies and processes as part of the Enterprise Transformation management principles – making the whole process more a matter of design than of chance.
  • Examining how the growth of “The Internet of Things” with online currencies and mobile enabled transactions has changed the face of financial services, and poses new threats and opportunities.

Key plenary and track speakers at the event include:

  • Allen Brown, President & CEO, The Open Group
  • Ron Tolido, SVP, Group CTO Office, , Global Insights and Data practice, Capgemini
  • Mariano Arnaiz, CIO, Grupo CESCE
  • Domingo Molina, Director of Information Technology and Communication Management, CNIS

Full details on the event agenda can be found here.

Registration for The Open Group Madrid is open now and available to members and non-members.  Please visit here.

Join the conversation! @theopengroup #ogMAD

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Using the ArchiMate® Language to Model TOGAF® Architectures

By William Estrem, President, Metaplexity Associates LLC, Serge Thorn, Associate, Metaplexity Associates LLC, and Sonia Gonzalez, Architecture and ArchiMate® Forums Director, The Open Group

If you are using the TOGAF® standard in your organization to guide the process of developing Enterprise Architectures, you could consider using the ArchiMate® language. ArchiMate, an Open Group standard, is a modeling language that is designed from the ground up to support modeling Enterprise Architectures and that can be very successfully applied for developing architecture descriptions that are well aligned with your organization’s strategy

The TOGAF standard is a framework for creating an Enterprise Architecture capability in your organization. The TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM) is a central feature of the TOGAF standard. The ADM cycle describes an incremental and iterative method for designing Business, Data, Applications, and Technology architectures. It progresses from high-level concept diagrams, to detailed domain architectures, all the way to the development of solution architectures, architecture roadmaps and implementation plans.

The ArchiMate® language is an Open Group standard that provides an Enterprise Architecture modeling language. The Archimate® language views the model as a set of layers (Business, Application, and Technology) as well as some specialized extensions (Motivation, and Implementation and Migration).

The Open Group Architecture and ArchiMate Forums have established a joint project known as Project Harmony that is focused on improving how the TOGAF and ArchiMate standards can be used together to create effective architecture descriptions.

Project Harmony has now published its first deliverables, a series of white papers that deliver guidance on the combined use of the TOGAF® Enterprise Architecture (EA) framework and the ArchiMate® EA modeling language. A Practitioner’s Guide summarizes the key findings of three in-depth white papers, which analyze the standards in terms of terminology, viewpoints, and metamodels, and provide recommendations on how they can be best used together.

The full series is entitled TOGAF® Framework and ArchiMate® Modeling Language Harmonization. The four white papers are:

  • A Practitioner’s Guide to Using the TOGAF® Framework and the ArchiMate® Language (W14C)
  • Content Metamodel Harmonization: Entitles and Relationships (W14D)
  • Glossaries Comparison (W14A)
  • Viewpoints Mapping (W14B)

All four can be downloaded from here (select the ZIP file link).

The Open Group has recently hosted a webinar highlighting how you can use TOGAF and ArchiMate together more effectively, to view the webinar visit: https://www2.opengroup.org/ogsys/catalog/D120

By William Estrem, Serge Thorn and Sonia GonzalezWilliam Estrem, President of Metaplexity Associates LLC, is currently serving as the chairman of Project Harmony. He has been involved with the development of the TOGAF standard since 1994. He is a former chairman of the Architecture Forum and served a two year term on the Open Group Board of Governors. Metaplexity Associates is a Gold Level member of The Open Group. It is a U.S. based education and consulting firm that offers services related to Enterprise Architecture. Metaplexity Associates offers accredited TOGAF courses.

 

By William Estrem, Serge Thorn and Sonia GonzalezSerge Thorn was CIO of Architecting the Enterprise, now an Associate of Metaplexity Associates LLC. He has worked in the IT Industry and Consultancy (Banking-Finance, Biotechnology-Pharma/Chemical, Telcos), for over 30 years, in a variety of roles, which include: Development and Systems Design, Project Management, Business Analysis, IT Operations, IT Management, IT Strategy, Research and Innovation, IT Governance, Project and Portfolio Management, Enterprise Architecture and Service Management (ITIL), Products Development, Coaching-Mentoring. For 10 years, he has been Chairman of the itSMF (IT Service Management Forum) Swiss chapter, involved with The Open Group Architecture and ArchiMate Forums.

 

By William Estrem, Serge Thorn and Sonia GonzalezSonia Gonzalez is The Open Group Forum Director for the Architecture and ArchiMate® Forums. Sonia has been also a trainer and consultant in the areas of business innovation, business process modeling, and Enterprise Architecture applying TOGAF® and ArchiMate. In this position, she is involved in the development and evolution of current and future EA standards. She is TOGAF® 9 Certified and ArchiMate® 2 Certified, and has been a trainer for an accredited training course provider and developed workshops and EA consultancy projects using the TOGAF standard as a reference framework and the ArchiMate standard as a modeling language.

 

 

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“Lean” Enterprise Architecture powered by TOGAF® 9.1

By Krish Ayyar, Managing Principal, Martin-McDougall Technologies

Enterprise Architecture is there to solve Enterprise level problems. A typical problem scenario could be something like “A large Mining and Resources company uses many sensors to collect and feed engineering data back to the central control room for monitoring their assets. These sensors are from multiple vendors and they use proprietary networking technologies and also data formats. There are interoperability issues. The company would like to improve the manageability and availability of these systems by exploring solutions around the emerging Internet Of Things (IoT) technology”.

There are many ways to solve Enterprise level problems. A typical approach might be to purchase a packaged software or develop bespoke solutions and sponsor an IT project to implement it.

So, what is special about Enterprise Architecture? EA is the only approach that puts you in the driver seat when it comes to orderly evolution of your enterprise’s business and information systems landscape.

How do we go about doing this?

The best way is to develop Enterprise Architecture in a short engagement cycle of say 4 to 6 weeks through the use of TOGAF® 9.1 method. If you think about it, the TOGAF® ADM basically covers 4 “Meta” phases. They are namely: Preparing and Setting the Architecture Vision, Blueprinting the Target State, Solutioning & Road Mapping, Governance and Change Management. The key to a short engagement cycle is in not doing those activities which are already done elsewhere in the organisation but linking with them. This includes Business Strategy, IT Strategy, Detailed Implementation Planning and Governance. This might mean “Piggy Backing” on PMO processes and extending them to include Enterprise Architecture.

As part of “Preparing and Setting the Architecture Vision”, we identify the Business Goals, Objectives and Drivers related to this problem scenario. For instance in this case, let us say we ran business scenario workshops and documented the CFO’s statement that the overall cost of remotely monitoring and supporting Engineering Systems must come down. We now elicit the concerns and requirements related to business and information systems from the stakeholders. In this case, the CEO has felt that the company needs new capabilities for monitoring devices anytime, anywhere.

As part of the “Governance and Change Management”, we look at emerging Business and Technology trends. Internet of Things or “IoT” is trending as the technology which has the ability to connect sensors to the internet for effective control. At this juncture, we should do some research and collect information about the Product and Technology Solutions that could deliver the new or enhanced capabilities. Major vendors such as SAP, Cisco and Microsoft have IoT Solutions in their offerings. These solutions are capable of enabling remote support using mobile devices streaming data in the cloud, network infrastructure for transporting the data using open standards, Cloud Computing, sensor connectivity to Wifi / Internet etc.,

Next, as part of “Blueprinting the Target State””, we model the Current and Target state Business Capabilities and Information System Services and Functionalities. We can do this very quickly by selecting the relevant TOGAF® 9.1 Artifacts to address the concerns and requirements. These are grouped by Architecture Domains within the TOGAF® 9.1 document. We then identify the Gaps. In our example, these could be new support capabilities using IoT.

Now as part of “Solutioning and Road Mapping”, we roadmap the gaps in a practical way to deliver business value. We could effectively use the TOGAF® 9.1 “Business Value Assessment” technique to achieve this. This will help us to realise the business goals and objectives as per business priorities delivered by the solution components. For example, reducing the cost of remotely monitoring and supporting engineering systems could be realised by solutions that enable remote monitoring and support using mobile devices streaming data in the cloud.

Of course, architecture work is not complete until the solution is architected from a design perspective to manage the product and technology complexities during implementation. There is also the need for Architecture Governance to ensure that it does not go pear-shaped during implementation and operation.

This does not seem to be a lot of effort, does it? In fact, some sort of conceptualisation happens in all major projects prior to the business case leading up to funding approval. When it is done by people who do not have the right mix of strategy, project management, solutioning and consulting skills, it becomes a mere “tick in the box” exercise. Why not adopt this structured approach of Enterprise Architecture powered by TOGAF® 9.1 and reap the rewards?

By Krish Ayyar, Martin-McDougall TechnologiesKrish Ayyar is an accomplished Enterprise Architecture Practitioner with well over 10 years consulting and teaching Enterprise Architecture internationally. He is a sought after Trainer of TOGAF® 9.1 Level 2 and Archimate® 2.1 Level 2 Certification Courses with teaching experience for over 5 years in Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, India, USA and Canada.  His experience includes a background in management consulting with Strategy and Business Transformation consulting, Enterprise Architecture consulting and Enterprise Architect functional roles in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and USA for over 15 years. Krish is an active contributor to The Open Group Architecture Forum activities through membership of his own consulting company based in Sydney, Australia.  Krish has been a presenter in Open Group conferences at Boston, Washington D.C and Sydney. He is currently Vice Chair of the Certification Standing Committee of the Architecture Forum.

 

 

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