Enterprise Architecture

A Pragmatic Approach Using PEAF


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The tactics are inherently related. If too much emphasis is placed on one, things can begin to breakdown and a downward spiral of negative feedback can begin. The key is to manage each of these competing Tactics and to make sound informed decisions having considered the impact and implications.

Utilise Structural and Transformational Models

Maintaining Models to aid Strategic Planning by providing:

¨      A flexible Modelling Tool

¨      An extensible Meta-model

¨      Methods for managing the models.

Enterprises today are more complex than they have ever been. The use of technology itself brings its own level of complexities of course, but there is also increasing complexity in the business structure, process, people, etc and the context it exists within of suppliers, customers, outsourcers, media, legislation, competitors, etc, etc.

Enterprises are also in a constant state of change, whether that be to outside events or by the Board constantly searching for ways to improve the Enterprise.

A basic rule of thumb is that, if you are going to change something, you first must understand the things you are changing and how changing one part may affect other parts in potentially unwanted or surprising ways.

Therefore, in this environment of constant change and complexity it is important to understand the structure of the Enterprise (a description of its parts, but more importantly the complex relationships between those parts) so that when one part changes the management and Board can see how that affects the other parts - Enterprise Impact Assessment.

In order to properly collect, manage, and use the information, a tool is required.

It is imperative that all the entities and their associated attributes be gathered together in one place so that there is one version of the truth and so that relationships between these attributes can be defined.

The driving force, therefore, behind the use of a tool is to reduce and minimize the maintenance and management overhead of a no tool based (manual) approach.

Whilst initially a tool may not be required, there comes a time where the amount of time to continue to use a non tool based approach exceeds the cost of adopting a tool. This point tends to be reached a lot sooner than you think.

Performing EA Governance

Provide the business with governance to manage alignment to the Strategic Plan by providing:

¨      A governance structure

¨      Methods for performing governance

The purpose of governance is to ensure that as change happens on a daily basis, that change is guided in accordance with the bigger strategic and long term picture of the Enterprise.

Governance must not put up barriers and stop work from happening, but should allow decisions to be made in the context of the implications and the Transformation Debt™ that may be incurred.

Even though strategic plans are put into place, it is not long into the financial year that events can overtake an Enterprise where those plans need adjustment. In addition, by the time work gets down to the projects and programmes to carry out the work, the strategic intent can be easily lost amongst the (rightly) blinkered focus of projects.

Managing Transformation Debt™

Expose and manage Transformation Debt™ created when short term tactical choices compromise long term strategic intent by:

¨      Recording Transformation Debt™ as it is created (In Transformation Debt™ Agreements - TDAs)

¨      Exposing that as change happens so that more informed business decisions can be made at the proper time

¨      Taking account of it and taking opportunities to reduce it during the Strategising and Roadmapping phases.


Questions to ponder...

Are these Tactics defined in your Enterprises Strategy?

If not, do you think they should?

Are there others that you would add?

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