Enterprise Architecture

A Pragmatic Approach Using PEAF


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Many people believe and espouse that…

“EA is all about - Bridging the gap between the business and IT”

Many People

Note - use of the term “The Business” here, is used because that is how many people who talk about EA refer to “everything else in the Enterprise that is not IT”. I do not necessarily subscribe to this label but since most people use these two terms together I am also using them to help explain, using terms that people currently use.

Until around 2005 I also thought that EA was all about “Bridging the gap between the business and IT”. The reason I thought this was mainly because that’s what everyone, including many EA’s, were telling me. But having begun my quest for the truth of EA it soon dawned on me, that the idea that EA is some kind of physical thing that bridges a gap was erroneous.

In any Enterprise “The Business” and IT are inextricably linked. There is no gap. In addition, if you view EA as a kind of marriage counsellor between “The Business” and IT, helping to bring them closer together, then again EA should not be about bridging the gap, it should be about removing the gap.

In fact, the only purpose of EA is  to enable and support the Transformation of the Enterprise. If the Enterprise never needed to change, there would be no reason to use EA at all.

So, since EA is all about enabling Transformation, and since EA (aka Roadmapping) is the work that is done between strategy formulation on the one hand and the execution of projects on the other, it becomes obvious that a much more valid statement was:

“EA is all about - Bridging the gap between Strategy and Execution (of change)”

Pragmatic EA Ltd

In this way, EA is a continuous process of reacting to changes in the Enterprise’s Strategy, and guiding the required transformation. This is where common phrase comes from…

“EA is not a destination. It’s a journey”

Many People

Which sounds very good. However, if we think more deeply, EA is not even the journey. EA is more about the way of making the journey. Many organisations make their journey without the use of Enterprise Architecture (yes they are all “doing” EA but there comes a point when something is being done so badly, that it ceases to be that thing. For example, if you cremate a chicken, can we still call this “cooking the dinner”?)

And so, we can say that:

“EA is not a destination.

EA is not Even a journey.

EA is a way of travelling”

Pragmatic EA Ltd


Questions to ponder...

Do people in your Enterprise think EA is about Bridging the gap between the business and IT?

Do you think that talking in terms of Business and IT in this manner is helpful?

Do you think that the statement that EA is all about Bridging the gap between Strategy and Execution is a more helpful way of viewing the world?

If not, why not?

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