Enterprise Architecture

A Pragmatic Approach Using PEAF


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The rationale for increasing one’s maturity in Enterprise Architecture (Methods, Artefacts, Culture and Environment) comes from satisfying four key goals with respect to Enterprise Transformation:

¨      Effectiveness         Transforming the right things.

¨      Efficiency              Transforming more with less.

¨      Agility                   Transforming faster with less.

¨      Durability              Be effective, efficient and agile in the future with respect to Transformation.

Most Enterprises will not have these goals in their Enterprise Strategy in relation to Transformation. They will exist in general but people tend to only think of them in terms of Operations. This is why 99% of Enterprises spend 99% of their time transforming the Operations part of the Enterprise and almost 0% transforming the Transformation part of the Enterprise.

The vision that EA brings, and the vision of EA, is to introduce these goals to the Enterprise Strategy with respect to Enterprise Transformation, If the C-Suite do not wish to add these goals to the Enterprises Strategy then that is their decision, but EA exposes the fact that it might be a good idea to include these goals. Therefore EA does not introduce these Goals (“Ends”) per se, but it does help to provide the “Means” by which they can be effectively and efficiently achieved both for today and in the future.

The goals are closely interlinked. Achieving one goal can compromise the others. For example, increasing Effectiveness without regard to Efficiency, Agility or Durability can have severe consequences for the Enterprise Transformation and the things that Enterprise Transformation ultimately delivers. The key is to manage each of these competing goals and to make sound informed decisions having considered the impact and implications.


How effective does Enterprise Transformation need to be? How do we know if we need to increase our effectiveness or not? These questions can be considered from two perspectives:

¨      Defensive         How fast do I have to run in order not to be eaten by a Tiger? Answer: Slightly faster than the slowest of your competitors.

¨      Offensive          How fast do I have to run in order to be a winner? Answer: Slightly faster than the fastest of your competitors.

EA cannot and does not determine whether an Enterprise needs to increase the effectiveness of its Transformation efforts or not - only the Management can do that. EA helps the Management to make Enterprise Transformation more effective.


This goal is concerned with at what cost the Enterprise can Transform.

Comparing the past with the world today…

¨      In the past, Operational Efficiency was a key business driver and differentiator. This led to production lines, mechanisation and automation.

¨      In today’s business world, Operational Efficiency is still important. However, as Enterprises have got more and more efficient in this area the scope for further gains is reducing.

In addition, because of a lack of attention to Transformational Efficiency, Operational Efficiency has been slowly and quietly adversely affecting Transformational Efficiency, which then adversely affects Operational Efficiency.


This goal is concerned with how fast the Enterprise can transform itself to adapt to internal and external pressures and priorities. Let’s consider some Transformation drivers:

Changes in Legislation, Competitor’s strategic moves, The possibility of mergers and acquisitions, Introduction of new products and services, The wax and wane of suppliers, The creation and demise of market and customer segments, The creation and demise of market and customer Channels, Changes in scale, The introduction of new machines (and technologies)

¨      In the past all these things happened rarely if at all

¨      In today’s business world these things could happen annually, monthly or even weekly and in the case of the Introduction of new products and services, could happen daily.

In general terms, if we compare the past to the world today:

¨      In the past, Agility was not really important at all because things didn’t change very much. Enterprises tended to produce the same products in the same way using the same people and the same tools for long periods of time.  Things that could change which would require the Enterprise to change only changed very slowly. When an Enterprise did need to change (since processes were largely carried out by people who were extremely easy to change/control) it could make those changes very quickly by telling those people to do different things, by employing more people or by sacking people.

¨      In the world today, Enterprises exist in an environment of constant and fundamental change, and therefore Enterprises need to be able to adapt and change quickly to cope with this maelstrom.  They need to be more Agile. Those that can will grow and prosper. Those that don’t will succumb to those that do. When an Enterprise needs to change today it cannot rely so much on the limitless adaptability of people to effect that change. This is because so much of how an Enterprise does what it does, is now either completely or partially automated and the complexity of those automated systems and business processes is causing a severe bottleneck in the Enterprise’s ability to react to change in a timely and commercially sensible fashion. Agility is becoming, and will grow even more to become, a key business driver and differentiator. This importance continues to grow year on year.


This goal is actually a component/modifier of the other three goals and can also be termed Sustainability.

An Enterprise needs to be Effective, Efficient and Agile today, but it would be unwise to unknowingly compromise how Effective, Efficient or Agile it is likely to be tomorrow.

Unless this sustainability component is built into the Enterprise’s Goals, the Enterprise will be solely driven by the needs of now, above the needs of tomorrow. Effectively (and efficiently!) selling tomorrow to live today.


Questions to ponder...

Are the goals of increasing the Effectiveness, Efficiency, Agility and Durability of your Enterprise Transformation capability defined in your Enterprises Strategy?

If not, do you think they should?

Are there others that you would add?

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