Enterprise Architecture Matters

Adrian Grigoriu

Enterprise + Architecture definition

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The Enterprise is
a group of people organized to deliver a product employing technology.
The definition includes people, processes (in "organized") and technology. It is complete because it shows what the term equates to and consists of. 
The purpose of the enterprise is the delivery of a product in the most general sense.

Architecture is
the organization of a system and/or its description.

In practice, EA means the  organization of the enterprise and its description.

The definitions are proper in the sense that they comply with the initial meanings of the more general terms. 
The EA definition assembles the meanings of terms together without adding new ones to the combined terms or invoking superior obscure purposes, as it often happens.

The Description can be consistently, completely and properly realised employing a framework.

An EA Framework is
the scaffolding, that enables the parts to integrate into the whole, and often, in addition, the development methodology.
Too often the scaffolding part is missing from an EA framework rendering the methodology too general to be of practical use.

EA can be done for an entire organization or an unit. 
But the enterprise today is not created  according to an architecture. Architecture may come in though at a redesign phase for re-engineering the enterprise.

In describing the enterprise, the EA has to document the product delivery, the design activities and the enterprise governance mechanisms for business as usual activities, projects, out of ordinary events etc.

Any Enterprise consists in fact of the following large functions: Governance - Operations (product delivery) - Development - Support . 
Hence GODS, a frame and generic business architecture.
See: http://www.bptrends.com/publicationfiles/FOUR%2012-07-10-ART-A%20Single%20Page%20Generic%20BA-Grigoriu.pdf

The strategy belongs to the enterprise Development function. Strategy has no direct relationship to architecture except that a strategy not based on architecture is hard to realise. The strategy guides the trasformation between the current and the desired state of the enterprise.

Additional material:
presentation about EA
http://www.slideshare.net/Grigoriu/enterprise-architecture-in-3-minutes-or-so-v1
web site
http://www.enterprise-architecture-matters.co.uk/
and ebook 
http://www.amazon.com/Enterprise-Architecture-Development-Framework-4th-ebook/dp/B004JN0KYA

2 Comments

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Purpose? Defining EA as the organization of the enterprise and its description isn't purposeful until you state why :-)

Faster, cheaper, better doesn't really go to core of why? Simon Sinek might be able to help...

John,

A definition based on purpose leads nowhere. There are more ways to achieve a purpose. That is why we have so many incompatible and voyeuristic EA definitions today.
That's true for an architecture in general. The purpose of the architecture is to describe a system. How is the architecture used it is another matter.
The architecture has a different purpose, depending on use, for each type of stakeholder.
The plumbers, the carpenters, the brick layers, the electricians see different architectural views and do different operations.

For instance, EA is used to better understand the enterprise and to improve operation, to fix malfunctions, to align developments in a portfolio and establish dependencies, to guide decision making and investment, to derive in an evolutionary manner the target EA...

In the most general sense, the EA enables the streamlining, alignment and strategic planning of the enterprise.
But read my KIndle books, blogs or at least this one post out of many http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/ea_matters/2013/02/the.php
I hope that helps.

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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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