Enterprise Architecture

A Pragmatic Approach Using PEAF


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There are essentially three fundamental types of data we need to maintain and manage in an EA tool:

¨      Entities - These are the “things” that we gather information about such as Objectives, Business processes, Applications, Goals, Locations, Departments, Databases.

¨      Relationships - There are the “linkages” between the entities such as relating Business Processes to Departments or applications

¨      Views - These are the illustrations of one or more Entities and one or more Relationships drawn in a particular kind of notation. Views can also be assembled into dashboards. Note that a diagram could be pictorial, tabular or text based.

 “The value is in the lines, not the boxes.”

- Kevin Smith

While Entities and Views are very important, it is the Relationships that provide us the real value and power, and it is the Relationships that are the primary reason for us adopting a tool. Without relationships, all we have is lists.

People can cope with a small number of Relationships between a small number for Entities but the human brain reaches its limit at maybe three Entities and 5 Relationships. Anything more than that and you just cannot keep it in your brain. With literally thousands of relationships, our brains need help!

A Tool will allow us to keep all these relationships and give us the ability to surf through them depending on the task at hand. A kind of Just-In-Time-Intelligence.


Questions to ponder...

Which models does your Enterprise have?

Can you indicate on a few, those things that are Entities, Relationships, Properties and Views?

How do you determine if something is a View or an Entity?

How do you determine if something is a Property or a Relationship?

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