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Enterprise Architecture Matters

Adrian Grigoriu

The Enterprise Architecture function role is not of enterprise factotum

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 It is often assumed the enterprise architecture function includes planning and strategy.  While this may be the case in practice, given the specifics of a job description, in theory, at least, they are separate disciplines.  

The delineation of enterprise strategy, planning and architecture is rather straightforward.   

The architecture is a snap in time of the enterprise state, a blueprint to which is associated information.

Planning maps in time the evolution of the enterprise state. It adds the time dimension of the enterprise transformation. 

Strategy supplies the directions that guide the transformation in achieving the vision and goals.

The EA function should not really do strategy or planning but it would enable their proper formulation and consistency  by providing information on all enterprise components and their relationships.

The EA team should work with planning and strategy though to make sure that Goals, Strategies and Projects are properly mapped to the architectural components and the dependencies are all counted in. 

Also EA does not create, for instance, business models (in the Osterwalder sense) but EA will assist the business with the proper architectural information to develop them. 

Essentially, EA is a tool used by the many existing enterprise functions to realise their own goals in harmony with the rest of the enterprise.

The EA team has a role in relating and coordinating the many such activities in the enterprise. They would certainly work with the planning and strategy teams.

The EA team itself would not have the resources to do the whole EA blueprinting at various detail levels. The enterprise stakeholders would have to do produce the EA blueprints for their own domain, designed though to fit in the EA framework, principles,... governance and tools established by the EA team. 

That is why the EA function should have a governing role in the enterprise much more important than the IT role it plays today.

But for that, the EA function need a framework that enable the provision of the right EA architectural blueprint, a framework like FFLV GODS.

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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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