Enterprise Architecture

A Pragmatic Approach Using PEAF


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Many of the things that EA aims to do will not be readily received by many people. This is because adopting EA is a paradigm shift. One could say that if there were no resistance then either you are not doing your job properly or the Enterprise is already mature enough in its use of EA. This is because the paradigm shift involves changing the culture of the Enterprise and therefore how people are motivated.

This is a (probably inexhaustive) list of problems that come up time and time again. Problems that, if not tackled will mean failure:

¨      People may not like EA exposing problems or mistakes because the Enterprises culture punishes those that do.

¨      People may not like EA breaking down silos and fiefdoms because the Enterprise’s culture tends to motivate them financially and with promotions to build them.

¨      People may not like to think about the benefit to the whole Enterprise because the Enterprise’s management measures them only on their small part of it, incentivising people to improve their part, to the possible detriment of the whole.

¨      People are driven to hit this years numbers, this month’s targets, todays share price. This drive is completely at odds with EA as EA often means taking short term pain to achieve long term gain.

¨      Truths, if inconvenient, tend to be hidden, especially if they impact the points above. EA is built on exposing and accepting truth, even if that is painful. Progress can never be achieved if truths are ignore, however inconvenient they may be.

It is unfortunate that most of these pushbacks come from Management, because it is management that we need to convince to employ a (proper) EA, rather than the majority of “EA” work where the EA who spends his time only in IT and makes sure he does not upset anyone. A “proper” EA spends most of his days listening to people and speaking truth to power.


“There are no bad people, only bad contexts. (aka bad Culture)”

- Pragmatic EA

And if we want to change people’s behaviour we need to concentrate on changing the context (Culture) rather than trying to change the people.


Questions to ponder...

Who in your Enterprise hates EA?

What do you need to do to stop them hating EA?

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