Is Your Enterprise Architecture Program Achieving Its Long-Term Vision?

EA Essential Elements:  Is your EA program achieving its long term vision and short term goals?  Just developing architecture is not enough, there is more to consider.

Unfortunately, many believe that Enterprise Architecture has failed to achieve its promised vision.  I’ve been a practitioner of EA for the last 18 years and over that time have seen EA programs succeed and unfortunately seen many more not live up to the promise.  It’s been a valuable journey and I’ve come away with 7 elements that I suggest be considered as essential elements of a successful EA program.   Consider these:

  • EA Vision, Goals and Performance
  • EA Strategies, Tactics and Implementation Roadmaps
  • Enterprise Governance
  • Program Planning and Management
  • EA career paths and competency development
  • Organizational commitment
  • EA Development Practices

We will consider each of these essential elements and their importance to your work in upcoming discussions.   Before getting to these discussions, there is a more foundational level to consider; that is, what is this thing we call Enterprise Architecture?

At this point in time, the term Enterprise Architecture will always mean different things to different people.  This discussion will focus on providing views of what EA is and just as importantly, what it is not.  Consider the following statements and the potential impact to your EA Program:

  • EA ≠ IT Architecture.  A primary goal of EA is to build coherent enterprises, not just better IT systems.
  • EA ≠ a onetime event; EA is a continuous, evolutionary, and transformational effort.
  • EA = a platform for Strategy, Planning and Transformation
  • Enterprises and its Organizations are complex adaptive systems and require a focus on holistic synthesis in lieu of fractional analysis.
  • The EA value proposition and benefits are solely realized in the business and should be defined by the business.
  • Over time, EA programs will lead to a redistribution of authority; EA goes beyond the jurisdiction of the CIO.
About John Howe

John Howe is a leading practitioner and recognized thought leader in Enterprise Architecture, IT Strategy and Planning, Portfolio Management, and Business Architecture with more than 30 years of information technology and business experience. Read John's full bio under Consulting Services.