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“Do I have to ‘do’ the whole Enterprise?”

“Can I start small and get some benefits first and then grow it out?”

“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 bit pregnant?!”

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 breaks down.

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 Objectives.

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 phase.

This Roadmapping work creates a portfolio of Projects, which then execute and change/transform various parts of the Operations part of the Enterprise.

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.

 

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Questions to ponder...

What do people in your Enterprise think about the scope of EA?

Are they arbitrarily trying to descope EA to a structural part of the Enterprise?

If they are, how does this fit in with the work being undertaken by the people involved in Roadmapping?

Does your Enterprise have more than one Roadmapping Group?







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