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What problems usually motivate Enterprises to increase their EA Maturity with respect to the Culture they use?


Expose the Problems you face or the Opportunities you wish to exploit, with respect to the Culture used for EA

The biggest enemy (or ally) of Enterprise Architecture is Culture. Culture trumps Everything™ as the saying goes. But this is much much more than a saying. It is a very cold hard fact. If ignored, it literally has the capacity to destroy our Enterprise.

We have many technology issues (blades, linux, soa, disaster recovery, security, web 2.0, etc) but our Technology Issues are very very small compared to Process issues. When bad technology is selected or used in a bad way, the culprit is usually the Process by which it was chosen or designed or built or deployed or a mixture of all four.

We have many Process issues (see why we want to increase our Maturity in the Methods section) but our Process issues are very very small when compared to Cultural Issues. When bad processes are followed, the culprit is usually the Culture that provides the context for those Processes. Politics and People have always been the root cause of most problems related to Enterprise Architecture.

The culture used in our Enterprise for Strategising, Roadmapping and Project Governance is of insufficient maturity to be able to cope with the work required due to rising complexity and volatility.

When attempting to change the culture of our Enterprise it is imperative to understand what our current culture is, to be able to effectively begin to change it. But what do we mean by “Changing our culture”? A “culture” is not something tangible. What we really mean when we say “Changing our culture” is “Changing our people”. And changing our people is the same as changing anything else - we cannot begin to change it unless we understand it first. If we don’t, it is likely that we will produce unwanted and un-expected detrimental and potentially disastrous side-effects. Often, merely understanding other people’s and department’s points of view and why they think and say what they do can reap huge benefits. Misunderstandings only lead to negative feelings and a resistance to “help” the other party even if that “help” would cost little or nothing.

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