Tag Archives: 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.

1 Comment

Filed under architecture, Business Transformation, EA, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Standards, The Open Group, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

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

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

Filed under ArchiMate, ArchiMate®, architecture, Association of Enterprise Architects, digital business, EA, enterprise architecture, Healthcare, Internet of Things, Interoperability, IT4IT, OTTF, Security Architecture, Standards, Steve Nunn, The Open Group, The Open Group London 2016, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

Inaugural User Group Meeting Draws Out New Ways of Seeing TOGAF®

By The Open Group

The Open Group hosted the first TOGAF® User Group meeting on January 25, 2016 in San Francisco. With over 50,000 certified users in more than 120 countries, the intent of the TOGAF User Group was to better serve and reach the entire TOGAF user community, allowing them to network with other users, interact with TOGAF subject matter experts, brainstorm solutions for challenging situations and build an active user community.

According to Terry Blevins, Fellow of The Open Group and consultant for Enterprise Wise, LLC, who facilitated the meeting, the goal for the inaugural event was to provide a venue were users could easily Share, get Enlightened and Express (SEE TOGAF) their needs as users. Blevins says those in attendance were engaged throughout the day and that users “found a useful balance between the three dimensions” of SEEing. In addition, the overall response to the event was positive, he says, with many attendees expressing a desire to hold additional events moving forward.

The User Group format consisted primarily of a full day of managed breakout sessions, each focused on trends that are affecting the use of Enterprise Architecture within organizations today. Facilitators led discussions with users on a variety of critical topics including:

  • TOGAF for Digital Transformation
  • TOGAF Business Scenarios
  • Security within TOGAF
  • The Role of People within TOGAF
  • TOGAF for eGovernment
  • TOGAF Hot Topics

During the session, TOGAF users provided significant viewpoints regarding potential enhancements that could be made to the standard throughout the day. Chief among them was the desire to have more concrete, practical use cases for TOGAF—particularly within specific industries. With many industries currently undergoing some radical shifts as they move toward greater digitalization, users are looking for increased guidance around how to use Architecture frameworks within industry verticals. Blevins states there was some expectation of this going into the User Meeting, but to have that validation directly from users was very important.

“The exciting thing was that we really thought that was going to happen—folks are asking for this and ready to use TOGAF across vertical industries,” he says.

Not only are users looking for more vertical industry examples, but they also expressed a need for additional horizontal use cases that can be used cross-functionally within organizations. Users would like to be able to use TOGAF, an Open Group standard, as a framework for making change within different departments and service parts of organizations such as HR, Finance or Operations. Current work in The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum is actually a perfect example of how the framework can be put to use across service functions, with the IT department leading the way in the form of the IT4IT Reference Architecture.

Guidance around how to do business or digital transformation was also mentioned as a potential enhancement. Blevins believes that with all the requests for templates, case studies and practical examples, there is an opportunity for developing a substantial series of “How to” articles and white papers that can be used in conjunction with TOGAF to provide users greater direction for specific use cases and examples.

“A lot of people really want to use TOGAF,” says Blevins. “They just need some help in applying it.”

Users also expressed a need for assistance in how to get buy-in for TOGAF and architecture from C-level executives within their organizations. This has long been a problem within the Architecture community and architects continue to struggle with how to better sell and market both themselves and what they can do.

Blevins says one suggestion that was made during the User Meeting was that Enterprise Architects stop trying to sell Architecture and instead focus on selling the outcomes or solutions they provide. It was suggested that perhaps architects spend too much time trying to sell their methods and frameworks and the “how” behind their work rather than just talking about solving the problem and how architecture will improve the business. Ultimately, the focus should be on that, not on how to apply Enterprise Architecture, he says.

Users in attendance were also struggling with how to integrate their Architecture efforts with Agile development trends and the need to bring increased innovation and speed to their projects. The need to develop more service- and customer-oriented delivery models to help transform businesses was also mentioned, as well as the need to include more guidance around Risk Management and Security within TOGAF.

The User Group meeting was very productive and provided excellent input on the standard. All feedback from the User Group is being delivered to The Open Group Architecture Forum for consideration in helping to enhance the standard and to provide feedback for TOGAF and trainers, as well to continue developing content that supports the standard and best practices for its use.

Please join us in London on April 27, 2016 for our upcoming TOGAF User Group meeting. The entire agenda for The Open Group London 2016 can be found here.




Filed under Digital Transformation, EA, Enterprise Architecture, IT4IT, Standards, The Open Group, The Open Group London 2016, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

The Open Group San Francisco 2016 Day Two Highlights

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

The Open Group CEO & President Steve Nunn kicked off the second day of The Open Group San Francisco event, “Enabling Boundaryless Information Flow™”, with a warm greeting and quick update on activities in The Open Group Forums.

Of note were updates regarding progress on harmonizing ArchiMate® and TOGAF® within the ArchiMate and Architecture Forums, as well as joint work between the Architecture and Open Platform 3.0™ Forum on digitalization and customer experience. In addition, the FACE™ Forum will be launching a certification program later this year, the Healthcare Forum recently published a whitepaper on healthcare focus and the OTTF Standard is currently being translated into Chinese. And in the Security Forum, work is being done around Risk Management, as well as building a more robust approach to security planning into TOGAF. Steve also presented long-time Open Group member Kirk Hansen with an award for his work in the Architecture Forum.

Tuesday’s morning plenary session focused on IT4IT™ and managing the business of IT.

The first session of the morning was given jointly by Ryan Schmierer, Business & Enterprise Architect, and Kathleen Wilson, Enterprise Architect for Data Center & Cloud Services, from Microsoft presenting on “The Case for Change: How Lessons Learned by Microsoft Align with IT4IT.”

According to Wilson, today DevOps are driving the cadence of the Cloud. With the largest technology companies now deploying new capabilities anywhere from a few times a week to thousands of times a day, IT must focus more on delivering business value and brokering services. This new model will require a high level of automation and heavy emphasis on systems monitoring within IT to deliver services and manage failures. With the drastic changes in how IT works, Wilson believes the cloud will make the role of traditional IT pros obsolete within the next five years.

To avoid IT becoming irrelevant, Schmierer says IT will need to shift its role to focus more on being a service broker, business enabler and steward of enterprise data while ensuring security throughout the enterprise. However, this will require change. IT organizations will need to reexamine definitions of success to focus more on business outcomes rather than IT metrics, experimentation and learning and use a more outside-in orientation to solve problems. By fully integrating IT management systems, companies will be able to better manage the IT value stream and create end-to-end systems that can provide a true services model and provide better decision-making in organizations.

Microsoft’s presentation was followed by a brief update on progress within the IT4IT Forum by Chris Davis, IT4IT Forum Director and Professor of Information Systems, University of South Florida. Two years ago, a group of folks from various organizations first met to discuss the possibility of an IT4IT standards. In the short time since, not only has the group launched the IT4IT Forum within The Open Group, but it has recently published its first Reference Architecture, which already has more than 5,000 downloads worldwide and is being used by more than 3,000 individuals from approximately 800 organizations. The Forum has also published a management guide and hopes to launch its first IT4IT people certification in April of this year.

Following the morning coffee break, Rabobank Business Architect Toine Jenniskens presented a case study on “How IT4IT Helps Rabobank Navigate the DevOps Journey.” Like Microsoft, Rabobank is looking to automate and monitor as many IT processes as possible and create a modular IT model so the department can focus more on business priorities. To do this, the bank is taking a value-stream based approach based on the IT4IT Value Chain and Reference Architecture to manage its IT processes and breakdown silos across the organization. Thus far, the bank has begun to consolidate tools across functions, increase IT automation and fully automate incident management. Although their transformation is still underway, Rabobank has been able to automate delivery, increase time to market, lower costs and create greater continuity in services and delivery as a result.

The final morning session was a panel discussion on IT4IT in Practice led by Interarbor Solutions IT Analyst Dana Gardner. The vendor panel featured IT4IT Forum Chair Chris Davis; Lars Rossen, Distinguished Technologist, HP Enterprise; David Wright, Chief Strategy Officer, ServiceNow; and Ryan Schmierer, who presented earlier in the plenary.

The panel discussed a number of critical issues around how IT management is changing and how IT4IT can ease that transition IT including how and why IT4IT was developed by and for IT managers, the possibility of using an IT framework to model services across other parts of the business and how to get traction for and start using IT4IT within IT departments. According to Wright, industry traction for a more holistic view of IT seems to be coming first from financial services and pharmaceutical sectors. Schmierer says that he believes there will be early adoption for IT4IT among companies that have large legacy IT systems, typical technology early adopters and those under the most pressure for cost performance. One way to know early on whether IT4IT is working within organizations, Rossen says, is that they’ll see a difference in areas for multi-services. Davis added that although the changes IT4IT will bring will likely be difficult to measure, but it will be sensed within organizations. However, Wright suggests organizations put together ways to measure success prior to beginning projects so departments can benchmark against them after projects are completed.

Tuesday’s afternoon tracks followed three different threads—a continuation of the morning’s discussions around IT4IT; EA topics around business transformation and value; and Open Platform topics including mobile computing and data analytics. In the IT4IT track, attendees were treated to a number of deep dives into the IT4IT Value Chain, providing a peek under the covers of each stream within the chain. The EA track featured practical examples of EA transformation in practice including an energy industry case study, a look at how SOA is maturing and advice on getting practical value from architectures.

In the Open Platform 3.0 Mobile Computing track, Russ Gibfried, Enterprise Architect for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, gave an interesting talk on the use of mobile platforms in the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) entitled “Probation Officers Online and On the Streets in San Diego.” The SDPD has implemented a system using smartphones and smart watches as technology hubs for the county’s probation officers. Using a mobile app, officers are now able to managing their caseloads and contact notes in the field, as well as use location services and search capabilities to keep tabs on clients.

Afterward, Modi Ronen an IT/Business Enterprise Architect from Salesforce, spoke on enterprise mobile strategies for cloud architectures. We now live in a primarily mobile world. However, most mobile apps are still abandoned, forgotten or deleted. As such, those designing for mobile must begin to prepare for Mobile 3.0 user experiences—usability, value, adoptability and desirability, as well as personalization—that better marry form and function for users, particularly as the Internet of Things and wearables become more ubiquitous.

In the late afternoon tracks, Don Brancato, Chief Enterprise Architect for HPE First, and Myles Suer, Chief Platform Evangelist, Informatica, hosted a talk on “Removing Science from Big Data Programs.” Brancato and Suer posit that science and looking for nebulous information is holding up the progress of Big Data to the detriment of gaining business value. What companies are finding is that Big Data is not a cure-all for the problems associated with traditional Business Intelligence. Rather than getting stuck with scientists digging around through masses of data, Brancato and Suer advocate for automated Big Data services that will allow for more easily repeatable analyses that deliver the actionable information businesses really need and get users involved in the process as early as possible.

Also in the late afternoon, Michael Fulton, Principal Architect, CC&C Solutions held a discussion providing details on the upcoming IT4IT Certification and Training Program followed by another panel discussion on IT4IT, again moderated by Dana Gardner.

The afternoon panelists included Fulton; Philippe Geneste, Partner at Accenture; Sue Desiderio, IT Enablement Process Leader, for PWC; Dwight David, Enterprise Architect for HPE; and Rob Akershoek, Solution Architect for Shell. To wrap up the day, the panel discussed the state of the IT4IT Reference Architecture today, where it needs to continue to evolve and the value of automation for IT organizations. The panel strongly encouraged attendees to try out the standard so they can see what’s working well and where tweaks may need to be made.

The day ended with a dinner and wine tasting event at San Francisco’s famous Presidio, a park and former military base, with beautiful views overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

On Wednesday and Thursday, work sessions and member meetings were held.

A special ‘thank you’ goes to our sponsors and exhibitors: Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA), BiZZdesign,  Good e-Learning, HPE, Orbus Software, Signavio, SNA Technologies, Van Haren Publishing.

Other content, photos and highlights can be found via #ogSFO on Twitter.  Select videos are on The Open Group YouTube channel. For full agenda and speakers, please visit The Open Group San Francisco 2016.

By Loren K. Baynes

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.

Comments Off on The Open Group San Francisco 2016 Day Two Highlights

Filed under ArchiMate®, Boundaryless Information Flow™, Business Transformation, EA, Enterprise Architecture, enterprise architecture, Enterprise Transformation, Information Technology, Interoperability, IT4IT, President and CEO, Standards, Steve Nunn, The Open Group, The Open Group San Francisco 2016, The Open Group San Franscisco 2016, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

TOGAF® User Group Meeting Preview with Steve Nunn

By The Open Group

2016 promises to be a banner year for TOGAF®, an Open Group standard. Last month, worldwide certifications for TOGAF 9 surpassed the 50,000 mark, and on January 25, The Open Group will be hosting its first TOGAF® User Group Meeting in San Francisco. We recently spoke with The Open Group President and CEO Steve Nunn about why The Open Group has decided to host a user group as TOGAF enters its third decade of use, what attendees can look forward to at the meeting, and what’s next for the standard.

The Open Group will be hosting the first ever TOGAF User Group Meeting in January—why start a user group?

The growth of TOGAF and popularity of the standard is so great at this point.  There’s a very substantial community of not just organizations but individuals using TOGAF in their daily lives and jobs. Only a small part of that community is the people who are involved in the The Open Group Architecture Forum, which evolves the standard. But we’ve just passed 50,000 TOGAF certifications, and there’s a substantial community worldwide who are always looking to better understand how they can use the standard for their organizations and what makes sense for them with TOGAF.

The idea of the User Group is to provide a forum for them as individuals—initially as a conference and then going forward as a virtual community—to learn from each other’s experiences of using TOGAF—tips and tricks, what works, what doesn’t work. We think there is a great appetite for that which isn’t being fulfilled at the moment other than very partially through LinkedIn Groups. TOGAF is a significant offering from The Open Group, and so it’s The Open Group that should be offering the User Group, and we are taking that opportunity.

TOGAF has been in use for 20 years already—so why start a User Group now?

Why now? In the past, we used to see presentations about successful implementations of Enterprise Architecture and the question we asked was always ‘Are you using TOGAF?’ Today, that’s pretty much a given. It’s not IF TOGAF is being used, but HOW. And people are using it for more than just IT projects or even Enterprise Architecture driven projects. At our Edinburgh conference, we learned that BAE Systems is using it for their entire operations in building nuclear submarines. They are actually using it for everything other than IT. It is also being picked up by HR departments. And there is a whole realm of disciplines inside organizations that could be picking up TOGAF and using it for different things.

The thing we always stress is to take TOGAF and use it for whatever makes sense within your organization. Don’t just try to absorb the whole thing—use it for what makes sense. And when you see presentations on it, people are almost apologetic about what they didn’t use. But that’s the whole point—it is capable of being used to a greater or lesser degree, depending on your needs and your organization.

What are you hoping that users will get out of the User Group meeting?

There are all sorts of ways to use TOGAF, and what we are trying to do with the User Group is enable and encourage users to share their experience and areas of interest, their views on what works and doesn’t work, what might need beefing up a bit, any gaps and what would be useful in terms of implementation. It’s really about how to use TOGAF on a daily basis. That is what we’re hoping—that people will come away with more ideas about that.

The two biggest things are the networking with their peers and the opportunity to discuss tips and tricks. Beyond that, there is the opportunity for those that don’t usually participate in the Architecture Forum to provide their ideas about how TOGAF can be improved, at a time when the next version is still being worked on and it’s still early enough to influence that. If there are suggestions made to the Forum members that seem to make sense, they do tend to take them onboard, so it is a way to get ideas heard and suggestions to the Forum.

What are you hoping that the Architecture Forum will gain from user input?

We’d like to get some initial reactions to what some of the current thinking is for the next version of TOGAF, and get some feedback and input on that. Also we’d hope to encourage people who haven’t seen the need to participate in the Forum to get involved, and we expect they will see that opportunity more clearly by getting an understanding of how things work inside The Open Group.

Will there be more User Group Meetings in the future?

The group itself will decide whether there’s interest in a virtual community as a long-term activity. We certainly intend to run User Group Meetings at quarterly events, assuming there is interest.

We’ve been thinking about doing a User Group for some time. We think there will be a lot of benefit for both users and The Open Group in doing it at this point in time—it feels like it’s the right time.

By The Open GroupSteve Nunn is President and CEO of The Open Group – a global consortium that enables the achievement of business objectives through IT standards. He is also President of the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA).

Steve joined The Open Group in 1993, spending the majority of his time as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel.   He was also CEO of the AEA from 2010 until 2015.

Steve is a lawyer by training, has an L.L.B. (Hons) in Law with French and retains a current legal practicing certificate.  Having spent most of his life in the UK, Steve has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2007. He enjoys spending time with his family, walking, playing golf, 80s music and is a lifelong West Ham United fan.

Join the conversation!  @theopengroup #ogSFO


Comments Off on TOGAF® User Group Meeting Preview with Steve Nunn

Filed under Steve Nunn, The Open Group, The Open Group San Francisco 2016, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

TOGAF® User Group Meeting Preview: A Conversation with Terry Blevins

By The Open Group

The Open Group will be hosting its first TOGAF® User Group Meeting on January 25 in San Francisco. We recently spoke with long-time member, Terry Blevins, The Open Group Board Member, Fellow and former Chair of The Open Group Architecture Forum about his involvement over the years with TOGAF®, an Open Group standard.  We also discussed what users can look forward to at the User Group Meeting.

What’s your history with TOGAF? How long have you been a TOGAF user?

I’ve been involved with The Open Group since before it was The Open Group, when it was X/Open. I first engaged with The Open Group in the architecture area when they were working on the first or second release of TOGAF—that was around 1996. For a number of releases of TOGAF, I was a direct contributor. I was also a Co-chair of the Architecture Forum and chaired the Work Group covering certification of TOGAF architects for a couple years.

One of the main contributions I made to TOGAF was the Business Scenario Method, which is what I’ll be talking about in one of the breakout sessions at the User Group Meeting. For the past number of years, I’ve been on The Open Group Governing Board, so I haven’t participated directly in the Architecture Forum or its Work Groups, but I do keep my eye on things. Most recently I’ve been involved in the Healthcare Forum, with an eye on applying the disciple of architecture to improve healthcare information flow.

When you were a TOGAF contributor, what types of things were you contributing to the standard?

When I first contributed content ,I was working for NCR Corporation where we were keen on seeing standard approaches to architecture. The whole thing is that you bring contributions to the standard from your company or from your personal experience that are practical and that work. The Business Scenario Method was something that I created to help companies understand real, live business needs, and this is essential for any architecting project. Other contributions were spread throughout the early versions of the TOGAF specification.

Why a User Group Meeting now?

The growth of the number of people who are certified in TOGAF is huge. It’s truly become an accepted method worldwide and has resulted in pull from the business side of organizations. That pull and worldwide interest generates a need for people to come together and share. In addition, I think there is a greater occurrence of procurements for architects that are certified in TOGAF today. So that puts the importance in the user community on truly understanding how to apply TOGAF, which drives a need for a place where users can go. Another dimension is, of course, in reaching out to the user community to drive TOGAF with requirements that represent the users!

Those certified and/or using TOGAF have always had the Architecture Forum as a venue where they could share, but the Architecture Forum has become so big and so concentrated on the aspects of developing the method. Many in the TOGAF user community are not interested in developing methods; their interest is in the application of the method. They really want to have a forum to go to where they can talk to other users of TOGAF and talk about what works, what doesn’t work, share their stories and accomplishments and get some hints on how to avoid failures. It’s more about the application of TOGAF.

We’d always thought that there would be a point in time where it would be very difficult for the Architecture Forum to serve both the purpose of users and of people that were methodologists. We may have hit that point. Having a forum that is less formal, like a user group, is attractive to users. Then they can also gather requirements and send them off to the Architecture Forum and say ‘this is our collective voice on constructive improvement points for TOGAF. Do with them what you may.’

What can users expect from the User Group Meeting?

I tell people that we want the users to ‘SEE’ TOGAF differently, differently in comparison to reading the book, getting the training or taking tests. What I mean by ‘SEE’ is that we want users to be able to ‘share’ experiences, so that’s the ‘s’ part of ‘see.’ We want the users to get ‘enlightened’ on new things down the road and the current thinking on what might be next. And we also want users to feel that they’re ‘engaged’ in making improvements to TOGAF. We want to provide the users the ability to share their experiences, successes and failures, get information that they might not get in the books or the training and have the opportunity to say ‘Hey, this should change.’ So that’s SEE—Share, Enlightenment and Engagement.

You’re hosting the Using the Business Scenarios track – what can users look forward to in that track?

In the Business Scenario session, I wanted to make sure that we have some structure and an agenda. But if the structure breaks down because the users want to take the conversation someplace, we’ll let that happen. The structure was created to cover sharing, engagement and enlightenment—the users can change that if they want. If the structure holds, I’ll provide some background on what the Business Scenario method is, and we’ll ask for some stories about how the users get customer requirements, what challenges they have, special techniques they use and key successes and barriers. Then we’ll look at what needs to be done to make the Business Scenario Method better or what we can do to make capturing requirements easier and open up that conversation. Finally, we’ll talk about the latest thinking regarding Business Scenarios. There’s some changes I’ve recently made to the method, and I’ve also added some tips, tricks and techniques that I’ll share with the users. The focus will be on how people really get the business requirements they need to drive their architecting work.

What do you consider to be the primary benefits having a user meeting for TOGAF?

I hope the benefit is that they’re really learning from other users and learn what pitfalls to avoid. Their benefit is they’re getting the experience of other users, and that’s going to make them better architects. Secondly, they have a real opportunity to provide their voice on what needs to be done to make the tools better so they can have something in the future that will be better positioned to make them better architects. With active participation, the attendees are going to learn some things that will help them be better architects, which is going to make them more desirable and hopefully they’ll have better career opportunities.

What else do you hope users will get out of the User Group Meeting?

The pride in being able to say they are part of the larger community and an active participant in putting together a voice capable of moving the discipline of architecture forward.

How will the User Group Meeting help inform the evolution of the standard?

By gathering requirements. We’ve designed some TOGAF improvement suggestion index cards that we’ll pass out to users and ask them to fill out the cards whenever they come up with an idea for an improvement. We’ll ask them to turn those in, and, by the way, for each card they’ll get a raffle ticket, which will be fed into a downstream process to improve TOGAF. That engagement part of the event is being facilitated through these cards. We’ll collect the cards, do an analysis and then make recommendations to the Architecture Forum.

It’s the first go, so we hope it will inspire more events, more mechanisms to collect TOGAF requirements and greater sharing experiences. We also hope the user community will take an active role in shaping how these user group sessions may evolve.

For more information on The Open Group San Francisco 2016, please visit http://www.opengroup.org/sanfrancisco2016.

@theopengroup #ogSFO


Comments Off on TOGAF® User Group Meeting Preview: A Conversation with Terry Blevins

Filed under architecture, The Open Group, The Open Group San Francisco 2016, TOGAF®, Uncategorized

A New Year’s Message from Steve Nunn

As we begin 2016, I want to extend my warmest greetings to everyone in The Open Group community! I hope each of you had a wonderful holiday filled with family and friends.

2016 promises to be an exciting year for The Open Group and everyone involved. With everything that is going on across the organization and with our Forums and Work Groups, I am also pleased to report that this is a leap year, so we’ll all have one extra day to fit in everything we need to do! With everything we have planned, we will need it!

Joking aside, there are a great many things to look forward to this year. Our latest Forum, The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum, is quickly gaining traction and plans to launch its first certification program later this spring. Interest for the Forum has been coming from all over the globe, so it has been very exciting to see their vision of IT management take off so quickly. The Open Platform 3.0™ Forum continues to pave the way in determining how new technologies will fit into the IT infrastructure of the future. We can look forward to new work from them in the areas of Digital Strategy and Customer Experience, as well as in Big Data and Data Management in the form of new work around Data Lakes.

This year will also bring new efforts in terms of most well-known Open Group standards. In January, we will be hosting our first ever TOGAF® User Group Meeting during the San Francisco event. We’ve been thinking about this event for quite some time, so it’s something that I am really looking forward to. Having just surpassed 50,000 certifications worldwide for TOGAF® 9, we expect it to be a lively and exciting meeting, and we hope to gain valuable insights into what TOGAF users are looking for from the standard and how they use it. In addition, we just celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Single UNIX® Specification. And new developments are also underway for the next version of the ArchiMate® standard.

As I continue to wrap my arms around my new role as President and CEO and all the various activities our members and staff are involved in, I’m personally excited about all the opportunities The Open Group has before it. We continue to look to the areas where The Open Group can bring expertise to the industry and help make a difference in how new technologies are used in an open, secure manner.

As technology and digitalization continue to change how businesses and industries operate, there are more opportunities than ever for The Open Group to get involved, provide guidance and develop new standards to help companies and verticals navigate the constant waves of technological change. With the work we are seeing in both the IT4IT and Open Platform 3.0 Forums, as well as our work with industry verticals, there is tremendous opportunity for The Open Group to continue to help shape the future of the industry, and I look forward to leading us toward this new future.

Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

President and CEO of The Open GroupSteve Nunn is President and CEO of The Open Group – a global consortium that enables the achievement of business objectives through IT standards. He is also President of the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA).

Steve joined The Open Group in 1993, spending the majority of his time as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel.   He was also CEO of the AEA from 2010 until 2015.

Steve is a lawyer by training, has an L.L.B. (Hons) in Law with French and retains a current legal practicing certificate.  Having spent most of his life in the UK, Steve has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2007. He enjoys spending time with his family, walking, playing golf, 80s music, and is a lifelong West Ham United fan.




Filed under ArchiMate, The Open Group, The Open Group San Franscisco 2016, Uncategorized, UNIX