“Do I have to ‘do’ the whole Enterprise?”
“Can I start small and get some benefits first and then grow
“Can I start with one Department or Business Unit?”
These are common questions asked by management who may be
“kind of sold” on the idea of EA, but don’t want to spend too much time and
money on. They want to dip a toe in the water rather than dive in.
In many respects, it’s a bit like asking “Can I get a little
But here’s the thing… We first must understand which
question is being asked, and answer it accordingly.
Question #1 – With respect to “doing” EA (primarily Roadmapping),
can I start with one Department?
Question #2 – With respect to using PEAF to mature our EA
capability, can I start with one Department”
Question #1 – “Doing” EA (primarily Roadmapping)
The answer is no. Why? When thinking about Enterprise
Architecture, most people think about the noun - the structure of the
Enterprise. This is perfectly understandable since an Enterprise Architecture
is exactly that - the structure of the Enterprise. It therefore logically
(albeit incorrectly) follows that you can decide to make the domain of
“Enterprise Architecture” a sub-part of the whole Enterprise structure - like a
Department or a Business Unit for example. Hence people often say “we will
start small and just ‘do’ EA on one Business Unit”. However, if you think about
the purpose of EA and what it is used for, then this simplistic structural view
If we consider Enterprise Strategy, there will be some Objectives
that can be satisfied by the Operations part of the Enterprise. These
objectives pass down to Operations and they carry out the work to satisfy these
However, there are some objectives that the Operations part
of the Enterprise cannot currently fulfil, and to be able to fulfil them, they
need to be transformed or changed first. These objectives are fed into the
Transformation part of the Enterprise, which initially performs the Roadmapping
This Roadmapping work creates a portfolio of Projects, which
then execute and change/transform various parts of the Operations part of the
So, the domain we choose to “do” EA on, is not determined by
selecting an arbitrary part of the Enterprise like one Business Unit, but upon
what needs to be Transformed, which is driven by the part of the Enterprise’s
Strategy that Operations cannot satisfy in its current structural state.
The only exception to this, is when a very large Enterprise (for
example a government) is composed of very large parts that each have their own EA
Capability. In that case, you could reduce the scope, to doing EA to one of
those large parts.
Question #2 – Using PEAF to mature our EA capability
The answer is yes. Why? Because we are only maturing one
department – the EA department. We are not maturing any part of the Operation
part of the enterprise.
However, the exception is, when a very large Enterprise (for
example a government) is composed of very large parts that each have their own
EA Capability. In that case, you could reduce the scope, to maturing the EA
Capability of one of those large parts.