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Enterprise Architecture Matters

Adrian Grigoriu

TOGAF ADM should be driven by strategy not requirements

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Requirements occupy the central place in the ADM cycle, the architecture development process. Each and every ADM phase seems  to take them into consideration. For what reason though?

To begin with, is the ADM about architecture development or the enterprise transformation process?
While the first is governed by the enterprise architect, the enterprise transformation is not.
In fact, where in TOGAF does the enterprise architecture development start and the enterprise transformation begin? Perhaps that should be made clear from start.

While the architecture development should end up with an architecture, the enterprise transformation should deliver the enterprise changed according to strategy, with or without support from architecture.

TOGAF assumes the two processes are the same. An that may spring in practice, problems of governance and debates about the role of the EA architect.

In any case, the enterprise transformation is not driven by requirements but by strategy that is implemented by the enterprise portfolio projects that themselves collect and implement the solution specific requirements.
That is, the strategy should be in the middle of the ADM circle rather than the requirements.

And requirements are not strategy, no matter what the TOGAF additional reading, on top of the 800+ tome, say. 

Anyway, the EA team does not analyse or model the enterprise wide requirements but the solution architects do that at project level.
Do you happen to know a single EA team that has engaged in this grand effort? 
Besides, can you imagine the EA collecting and modelling all the requirements for an enterprise?  
The outcome must look like a merger of the requirements of all projects. 
Isn't this the responsibilities of individual projects as the current practice is? 

But TOGAF has its roots and focus in IT and solution development processes indeed. That may explain why the "enterprise architect" has such governance powers and requirements play such a role.

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I agree that ADM should be driven by strategy not requirements.

As you said, TOGAF has its roots and focus in IT and solution development, but I would add that those were IT and solution development methods from the previous decades. Historically, technology products have always been changing faster than architecture development methods. It would be interesting to discuss how ICT has changed its role in an enterprise. What are the concepts that need to be added (or redefined) in new enterprise architecture frameworks? Obviously, strategy and requirements need to be repositioned.

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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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