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The use of Tools tends to grow out of the need people have to deal with the volume and complexity of the information they use to do their jobs or for people to be able to do things that they could otherwise not do. Configuration Management Tools grew out of the need to deal with the complexity and volume of the information in operations. Software Tools grew out of the complexity and volume of the information related to Software. Requirements Management Tools grew out of the complexity and volume of the information related to Requirements, etc, etc.

The Green boxes with Blue lines, indicate areas where specific tools could fit. Before we start executing projects, we are dealing with the whole Enterprise at the Contextual and Conceptual levels, and so it is logical (and possible) for us to use one tool to do so. However, as we move into project specific areas of greater detail at the Logical Physical, and Operational levels, it is more usual to use tools that are specifically designed to satisfy a particular discipline, such as Requirement Management tools, Analysis & Design tools, Testing tools, Project Management tools, Configuration Management tools, etc.

A tool could be as simple as a pen and paper but as the complexity and volume of the information rises, it is more common to use software based tools because (if used correctly, because “A fool with a tool is still a fool”) they reduce the maintenance burden and can provide analysis and visualisation functions that would otherwise not be possible. The information people use to do their jobs with respect to Enterprise Transformation splits into two fundamental types, Structural information and Transformational Information as defined by MACE and MAGMA. In order for people performing a role at each level of the Transformation Cascade™ to be effective and efficient, they need access not only to the primary information at their level but also, in decreasing amounts, to the information at other levels.

Many Enterprises buy many tools, but these tools are usually bought as point solutions, without much consideration as to how they integrate into a whole. POET shows the scope of information that each tool requires access to, and thereby shows the large amount of overlap of information between tools. Each tool must not only be able to deal with the information that is required as an output for that phase, but each tool must also be able to relate that information to information at the level above (which provides the context) and to the level below (for impact analysis). In this way a coherent approach to selecting an integrated transformation tool portfolio is required.

POET provides the framework to enable Enterprises to take a coherent and holistic view of the Tools used for Enterprise Transformation.

This may in fact, require the sub-optimisation of some or all of the tools!

A logical view may be to use one tool for the Enterprise Architecture Model and one Tool for the Enterprise Engineering Model. However, since there is (by definition) more detail in the Engineering Model it might be more logical to use multiple Tools at that level. It would also be logical to think that those tools may be aligned more around the Disciplines and Roles used rather than levels themselves.

While these lines may be moved for individual Enterprises based on their needs and maturity, it should be noted that what is of more importance is how the interfaces between these tools work as shown by the red boxes. It is critically important that all the tools used for Enterprise Transformation work together cohesively as a whole. No information is an island, and although different roles may concentrate on working on one particular type of information and use one particular tool, what is crucially important (because Context is King™) is that people can see their information of interest, in the context of other information.


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Questions to ponder...

Do the Tools your Enterprise uses for Transformation, fit together and integrate properly?

If not, what problems does this create?

What impact do those problems have, and how can you solve those problems?

Which tools do you currently use?

What domains (Structural/Transformational) do they cover?

What disciplines utilise them?

Are they adequate?

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