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Anatomy of Agile Enterprise

Janne J. Korhonen

Presentation: Integrated Approach to EA Governance

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Yesterday, I gave a presentation at the Open Group Conference in Rome, Italy, revisiting many of the ideas I have put forth in this blog before. The presentation was entitled "Integrated Approach to Enterprise Architecture Governance".

In my presentation, I maintained that the traditional notion of corporate governance that is primarily geared to address the "agency problem" subscribes to a functional view of an enterprise, aimed at maximizing shareholder value; and that this teleological stance inherently results in control-oriented behavior that emphasizes short term efficiency and conformance aspect of governance. Likewise, I reiterated that the traditional view on IT governance, paradigmatically exemplified by CobiT, exacerbates Business-IT divide by making the distinction between the two in the first place.

I pointed out that as the complexity of the global business landscape escalates, the mechanistic, reductionistic and control-oriented approach based on top-down planning and formal logical thinking renders inadequate. A more open, organismic and dynamic view on organization is called for. I also discussed how this paradigm shift manifests in information technology.

In a similar vein, a more encompassing notion of Enterprise Governance, reflecting the "white box" systemic perspective, will be required. I put forth my succinct definition of Enterprise Governance (EG) as follows:

"Enterprise Governance defines the requisite roles, accountabilities and policies to effectively design and operate an enterprise in continually shifting contexts."

I stressed the importance of intentional organizational design in complex and dynamic environments that impose several concurrent objectives on the enterprise. Suggesting that Requisite Organization would provide a stratification scheme for natural decision-making layers and structure governance and enterprise architecture alike, I gave an example of how TOGAF ADM would map to Agile Governance Model.

As a recap, I provided the following three takeaways:

  1. "Mind the gap": Do not just align business and IT; converge them.
  2. Design organization for concurrent objectives using requisite stratification as guiding metadesign.
  3. Do not turn EA upside down -- just 90 degrees.

Janne J. Korhonen provides insights into how information technology can be applied strategically to catalyze organizational change and responsiveness. Drawing from both theory and practice, he discusses agile enterprise and its governance.

Janne J. Korhonen

Janne J. Korhonen is an independent business and IT consultant,specializing in enterprise architecture, business process management,service-oriented architecture and pertinent governance models. He has over ten years of experience as an architect and consultant in a variety of extensive and mission-critical IT projects. With strong theoretical underpinnings, his consulting encompasses systemic co-development of business, organization and information technology.

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