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Enterprise Architecture Matters

Adrian Grigoriu

Enterprise Architecture should consider People and Organization

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Not long ago I felt that Enterprise Architecture (EA) had not been growing at the pace I, at least, thought it should. I asked myself why and came up with a couple of issues. I never thought though the list would expand but it did. This being the case, no wonder that people are reluctant about the EA development: it may be costly, takes time and resources, its business case is not proved and the outcome may not live to expectations. 

What I found is that

* EA is seen mainly as an IT discipline 

* All other technologies beside IT seem to be ignored

* EA is overly simplified to four architectural layers with no other "views" to respond to non-IT stakeholders' concerns

* Good practices from system design like logical architecture, use cases are not really adopted

* There is seldom a link to the enterprise Value Chain or business model that business people understand and not least

* People and organization are not included in the EA scope, my topic now.

Typically business processes or parts of them are still performed by people rather than applications. These processes, in fact more accurately workflows, are still relying on human interventions for data input, validation, phase approval... In other words they are not automated. Processes lag too because people taking decisions are away or technology fails at the hands of poorly trained personnel. More often than not the human intervention is not portrayed in business workflows for the simple reason that people are not part of the framework. If human performance is not accounted for the overall processes will perform as well as their weakest link, the people.

EA looks like an unfinished business without people manning processes and technology. 

Organization (people) design is often the object of an entirely separate and non-correlated initiative. I witnessed in the same company

* a process and best practices optimization effort, 

* an organization re-design process and

* an Enterprise Architecture program

performed by three different groups, in parallel. That is process, people and the EA activities were executed in isolation, without correlation.

I believe that the organization chart should be aligned to your Enterprise Architecture so that people take ownership of EA functions, processes and technology. 

Culture and people communications also affect your Enterprise performance, but this is quite a topic for an other time. Also process improvement activities that should be correlated to the EA development.

After all, "the Company is the People" who govern, plan and operate the Enterprise.


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Adrian Grigoriu blogs about everything relating to enterprise and business architecture, SOA, frameworks, design, planning, execution, organization and related issues.

Adrian Grigoriu

Adrian is an executive consultant in enterprise architecture, former head of enterprise architecture at Ofcom, the spectrum and broadcasting U.K. regulatory agency and chief architect at TM Forum, an organization providing a reference integrated business architecture framework, best practices and standards for the telecommunications and digital media industries. He also was a high technology, enterprise architecture and strategy senior manager at Accenture and Vodafone, and a principal consultant and lead architect at Qantas, Logica, Lucent Bell Labs and Nokia. He is the author of two books on enterprise architecture development available on Kindle and published articles with BPTrends, the Microsoft Architecture Journal and the EI magazine. Shortlisted by Computer Weekly for the IT Industry blogger of the year 2011.

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