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Very good. The subject matter was presented clearly and concisely, and held my attention. - Development Team Leader, Freshfields, UK, Sep 2010

Recommend PEAF?

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Yes - Fills the gap between IT and Business. - Enterprise Architect, none, Sweden, Jun 2012

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To borrow from the introduction to The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (a book by Douglas Adams)...

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what EA is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

There is another theory which states that this has already happened!

Many people say it is not the labels that are important but the things that those labels represent. This is true to a certain extent, however, as POET tells us in the Introduction - language is key. Since we speak in labels all the time, it is vitally important to have a common understanding of what we mean when we use them, or at the very least, the ability to realise when we are not using the labels to mean the same thing and to act appropriately. This is especially true when a label (name or acronym) is used widely and extensively. Enterprise Architecture (EA) is definitely in that category.

There is (and has been for a long time) endless debate about what EA is. All those debates revolve around everyone putting forward their definition and then arguing about it. This approach has not taken us forward over the last 20 years, and is unlikely to do so over the next 20 years.

Therefore, a more Pragmatic approach is needed. Instead of just stating what we believe EA to be, let's consider the question from another direction.

This graphic shows three fundamental areas of Transformation; X, Y and Z.

Each of these definitions defines something useful and each of these things is defined both in terms of itself and, but more importantly in terms of its context - because as POET teaches us - Context is King.

 

 

The Architecture of...

...set in the context of...

X

the whole of the Enterprise (including but not limited to IT and not limited to the things currently connected to IT)

the things outside the Enterprise

Y

the IT of the whole of the Enterprise

the things in the Enterprise that are connected to IT and the Business strategy

Z

a very large IT project

the things in the Enterprise that are connected to that IT project and the IT roadmap

 

The table below shows which definition PEAF allocates the EA label to, along with the labels it uses to refer to the other important definitions. We also show two alternative camps representing views expressed by others. If you do not agree with PEAF's allocation of labels, you are completely free to allocate whatever labels you wish.

 

 

 

Camp A

(PEAF)

Camp B

Camp C

X

The Architecture of... the whole of the Enterprise (including but not limited to IT) ...set in the context of... the things outside the Enterprise

EA

?

?

Y

The Architecture of... the IT of the whole of the Enterprise ...set in the context of... the things in the Enterprise that are connected to IT and the Business strategy

EITA

EA

?

Z

The Architecture of... a very large IT project ...set in the context of... the things in the Enterprise that are connected to that IT project and the IT roadmap

PITA

?

EA

 

If you cannot allocate the "EA" moniker to X, Y or Z, what box would you draw on the diagram to represent it?

What names do you use to refer to X, Y and Z?

Does everyone within your Enterprise agree? If not, what needs to be done?

 






 

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