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Enterprise Architecture Matters

Adrian Grigoriu

The Enterprise Architecture role to coordinate Enterprise developments

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The concept of EA is self selling but the current results turn its appeal down. In any case, it would be a benefit for business to have a set of Enterprise blueprints they can all refer to, debate upon and navigate end to end flows to inspect performance and the technology and people resources involved.

Moreover, the EA can be used for process improvement, resource alignment, streamlining the Enterprise and so on. To really succeed in transforming the Enterprise, EA needs not only to act on its own, but to support, correlate or organically coordinate the efforts and teams in  business, technology and organization, such as: 

* Business efforts of process and quality improvement like BPM/xSigma/TQM, strategy teams in business strategy formulation, mapping and execution, projects alignement in an Enterprise portfolio 
* Technology developments in IT and non-IT technology architecture design, roadmapping and strategy 
* People/Organization optimisation, business management and investment decisions, projects organization improvement and alignment to the business needs 
EA is not about IT alone but about aligning all these efforts in an Enterprise. It is about establishing a governance structure to enable synchronization of these efforts. 

In the end, all stakeholders would become involved, having a view of interest, a stake in the EA. The EA architect would provide such a navigable framework where all the artefacts, designed and owned by stakeholders, would fit in framework placeholders, subject to constraints and guidance imposed by it. 

As such an EA architect must have an understanding of all EA layers: business, technology and people organization. The E Architect should have a high enough position in the hierarchy to have access to top management and authority to act rather than advise or influence alone. Solely at that level an E Architect would have visibility of the whole Enterprise and be able to discover and propose common functions, eliminate duplication between business silos, improve end to end processes... 
An Enterprise Architecture board, a governance structure close to the top management level, would make the key decisions. 
To be relevant, EA needs organic maintenance, that is performed in the course of normal job tasks. For that
* solution architectures have to be integrated in the EA 
* business stakeholders must be given ownership and responsibility of their own "architectural views" 
* EA work should be delegated to those in the know and with a legitimate stake and accountability for it.

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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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