This Guide presents advice on establishing an Enterprise Architecture (EA) Capability that aligns to a set of requirements and expectations that are specific to each enterprise. It proposes an approach for the standing-up and enhancement of an enterprise’s EA Capability based upon established best practices. This approach follows a configured path through the TOGAF® Architecture Development Method (ADM).
This Guide is written for the EA Capability Leader, the person who is tasked to lead the effort to establish or evolve an EA Capability. We have selected the term Leader deliberately to reflect the role rather than any one of the myriad titles in an enterprise the Leader may have. This Guide is structured to provide the context, content, and rationale behind choices and steps that an EA Leader can consult at any point in time to set up, operate, and improve the value extracted from the practice of EA in the organization. A high-functioning EA Capability optimizes Boundaryless Information Flow™ within and between enterprises based on open standards and global interoperability.
Practicing EA requires in-depth interaction with several specialized functions such as strategy development, HR policies, and corporate accounting. This Guide:
- Introduces key topics of concern
- Defines the terms related to the topic
- Shows the terms that are related to an EA Capability
- Discusses what the Leader needs to know
- Describes what the Leader should do with this knowledge
This Guide transitions its focus between setting up a new EA Capability practice and evolving or re-establishing the practice. It is presented this way to reflect the reality of the state of EA prevalent in the industry at the time of writing.
This Guide is divided into six parts.
Part 1 (this part) is the introduction, including an assessment of the state of EA, definitions, and key concepts used in this Guide.
Parts 2 and 3 present a narrative that leads the reader through a series of topics and related steps to assist in stepping back from the current operational context to seek a broader perspective. Ideally, the contents of these first two parts should form a companion to the TOGAF ADM or similar architecture development processes, methods, or frameworks that an enterprise may choose to adopt. This Guide takes this approach deliberately. It focuses on outcomes without being distracted by implementation or evolution. This is done by simply focusing on what must be done and what needs to be achieved out of the steps.
Part 4 covers adoption of the EA Capability. This includes preparation and initiation activities required to establish or enhance the EA Capability that would be relevant to an enterprise.
Part 5 shows a simple mapping of how the TOGAF ADM can be practically used. This follows a “configuration” of the TOGAF ADM for architecting and establishing an EA Capability. It serves as an example to show how the TOGAF ADM could be customized to address the purpose for which an EA Capability is being established.
Part 6 contains appendices.
Not all scenarios or related fields discussed in this Guide will be relevant for every enterprise, and especially in the first attempts at creating an EA Capability. Establishing any capability is an iterative process. This Guide is intended as a starting point to create or evolve an EA Capability, when the purpose for performing EA changes, or when the charter for a team changes.
Even though this Guide has a logical structure, it is not designed as a simple task-list. The depth and detail of every step taken by the EA Leader is iterative, and the only variable is time spent for each step. As with all change work, listing what you need to know is not the same as defining the level of detail in documentation. This Guide provides a concise summary of what you need to know to establish the EA Capability in Table 9.
It is the EA Leader’s judgment to consider the level of depth and documentation and how to iterate in a manner that best suits an enterprise. The intent of this Guide is that you read Chapter 4 (Enterprise Context and EA Context) and Chapter 5 (Business Objectives for the EA Capability) before making any judgment call on the approach to building an EA Capability.
Experience has shown that there is no one right EA Capability model. There are numerous examples of EA Capability being focused on strategy or portfolio or project or a combination of these. EA Capability has been aligned to organizational change leaders, supporting specific transformation efforts, or has focused on continuous improvement and change or embedded within an IT organization. This Guide will help the Leader of an EA Capability to identify an approach that is:
- Appropriate to the enterprise
- Appropriate to the context of the EA Capability
- Appropriate to the purpose of the EA Capability
This Guide presents a tailored approach to establish and evolve EA Capability, aligned to the TOGAF Preliminary Phase. The EA Capability is designed to deliver architectures for a purpose and to drive effective change. However, when presenting the concepts supporting each of the steps, the Guide presents a few leading alternative techniques and approaches. It is up to the Leader to identify and employ concepts or school of thought that best meets the needs of the enterprise.
The importance of aligning an enterprise’s context to its purpose is paramount. It is dubious to suggest that there is a single, correct approach to align context to purpose and this Guide makes no suppositions to that effect.
The TOGAF framework provides essential universal scaffolding useful to a range of organizations, industries, and architectural styles. Customization of the TOGAF framework is necessary to align to the enterprise’s requirements and expectations. The question is how to customize the TOGAF framework.
The TOGAF framework is written for the practitioner, the expert, and in general the professional that would take the role of EA Capability leader; the person who thinks about the structure and practice of EA. This Guide is an interpretation of the TOGAF framework to support the Leader to establish or evolve an EA Capability – the person who is not worried about the theory, but who is worried about how to structure or maintain an effective EA Capability.
This Guide provides advice for establishing or enhancing an EA Capability based upon the TOGAF framework. Establishing an EA Capability is the purpose of the TOGAF ADM Preliminary Phase. This Guide follows the Preliminary Phase and provides in-depth commentary and guidance for executing the Preliminary Phase. This includes guidance on customizing and configuring the TOGAF ADM; defining a Content Framework; selecting, configuring, and customizing appropriate tools and techniques; and selecting, configuring, and customizing appropriate architecture practices.
Research and survey by the Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA), the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), and Forrester during 2014 and 2015 present a wide spectrum of positive and negative impressions on the impact EA Capability has had on any enterprise. The responses showcase different practice models for EA Capability as well as a range of maturity levels. There are instances of high-functioning EA teams that were formed several years ago, to continuous initiation and shutting-down of EA teams. The key message that EA Capability is a function of context and purpose is often lost, in practice and discussions.
To respond to the demands and needs of their stakeholders, organizations need to develop new and better ways of managing continuous change at ever-increasing pace to deliver significant value in a transparent manner. Organizations need an EA Capability as an integral capability to support continuous and transformational change processes. However, over the years, many organizations have attempted to set up EA practices only to see them fail after a few years. In spite of these previous failures, enterprises repeatedly try to establish a successful EA Capability.
This Guide discusses a pragmatic and tested approach to establish, manage, and evolve an EA Capability based upon established successful practices. This Guide also presents an approach to successfully apply the practice of EA to amplify the value realized or re-establish the practice. This Guide presents various factors that influence the success of EA Capability.
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