EA Practitioners – EA Best Practice Management

Several speakers this afternoon.

Seven Traits of Effective Enterprise Architecture (EA)
Speaker number 1: Mark Denne, Partner, Accenture
Business Alignment – Must define its value in terms of the business measured in the business’ currency. You must show that there are savings when you do EA.

Technology Vision – Staying agile and evolutionary is important to keeping the business on the leading edge. One set of issues surrounds standards – understanding the various standards that are out there, finding the one’s that will carry through, allowing for the variations and immaturity of standards. There are noisy standards that don’t call for our attention yet.

Integration – It is difficult to apply standards based on rules and sanctions for failing to follow those rules. Need to translate the value of the adoption of a standard in $s.

Risk Management – In the world of agile software development, it is difficult to do holistic risk/cost benefit calculations. Minimal Marketable Features – small units of functionality that we can analyze for cost/benefit and risk as part of the whole.

Budget Process – EA needs to be involved in the budgetary approval process. Being in the budget process lets you identify opportunities early.

Architecture Governance – Exception processes – the world isn’t perfect; vendors don’t keep their promises; projects fail. You need to have a plan B. You need to plan for the failures.

Transformation – The N-1 trait. The best EA fail. It might fail because you cannot get the buy-in of a critical stakeholders. Always think of an N-1 architecture for the one you have today. Think of one that works, might not be as good, when something fails. If there is an uncontrolled event, you need to know what happens if something happens.

Breaking up the enterprise and functions into components allows you to components of the risk. You can roll up the risk for a whole system.

How do you translate the adoption of a standard into dollar terms? Used to use simple ROI calculations but that didn’t cut it with the CFOs. They asked for cash-flow projects. Needed to a discounted cash-flow calculation.

Thoughts on Architecting .. and How to Improve the Practice
Brad Mercer, Principal Architect, The MITRE Corporation, US. Works with the Dept of Defense.

Enterprise Architecture is a complexity reducing practice. I would say (Jim here) that what we practice is complexity mitigation.

What we are trying to architect is a system. We should look to system science as the ground-work for architecture. Architecture is a property of a system. We are trying to affect or effect that system.

If Architecture is a property of a system, the Architecture Descriptions (the drawings and documents we create) are a reflection (once removed) of the architecture of the system. The Architecture Framework (the values, principles et al) are removed yet again from the architecture.

The Architecture has three aspects: The Function of the system, the Behavior of the system, and the Information of the system. Many architects tend to draw flow diagrams of the function of the system. The end-user usually doesn’t care about the functional flows, they care about the Behavior of the system.

Architecture synthesis a form for the system. Engineering takes the synthesis and the architectural specifications as the engineering requirements that allows the system to be built.

Critical Success Factors in Introducing an Enterprise Architecture Capability within an Organization
William Sheleg, Managing Consultant, PA Consulting Group, US

Four elements are needed: Commitment, Capability, Enabler (Frameworks, Tools, Assets), Integration (with business strategy, portfolio management, governance, procurement strategy).

EA is defined as “a Master Plan [that] establishes the Agency-wide Roadmap, to achieve and Agency’s mission…” FEAF

Measure performance across five dimensions: Effectiveness, Efficiency, Quality, Cycle Time and Customer Service. You can focus first on Improving IT Performance and let that lead up to improving overall enterprise effectiveness.

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