Monday, October 11, 2010

Enterprise architecture the verb and the noun

To me, enterprise architecture is both a method and a thing. (i.e. a verb and a noun) 

I have put together a summary of what this means to me and have applied some constraints. These are:

  • that it should fit on one presentation slide, 
  • should be complete, but mainly 
  • should be as simple as possible. 
This is it so far. There is an endless amount that could be added to this slide but my intent is to provide the overarching elements only. If other elements of EA are identified, I hope to be able to sensibly reason that they are a subset of those elements shown. Some examples of this reasoning is shown below the slide.


“You forgot value discipline alignment” – It is part of the system description descriptions
“You forgot architectural principles” – These are a part of the boundaries (constraints)
“You forgot change / transition / project plans” – I wasn’t sure if these are strictly part of the architecture so much as artefacts of the associated process of change and initiative planning. For this reason I felt it was enough to imply the need for this artefact by reference to “planning and managing change”.
“You haven’t made it clear enough that the ‘enterprise’ is a socoi-technical system” – I pondered on the need to include an explicit reference to the human element to the ‘complex system’ for ages! I think that it is implicit in the state descriptions and the use of the term ‘relationships’ rather than the sometimes used ‘interfaces’. I almost used the term complex ‘eco-system’ in place of complex system to try to add a little more of an organic flavour and could still be easily persuaded to change my mind.
“Where are your reference models / reference architectures?” – Implied in the state descriptions
“what about using EA to manage system life cycles?” – Planning and managing change. 

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