The promise of enterprise architecture is that it helps improve decision making. Typically, the role of the enterprise architect is to advise and enable other stakeholders to make better decisions. Therefore, Enterprise Architecture – more than anything else – is a social discipline, in that it demands social skills and interaction in order for practitioners to successfully engage with stakeholders and change their behavior. Read more
In our previous blog post on planning and roadmapping, we discussed the general idea of planning and roadmapping in the context of enterprise architecture and capability-based planning. We addressed different levels of roadmaps, ranging from short-term sprints of a few weeks to long-term, multi-year roadmaps. We also provided some first insights into the use of ArchiMate concepts for modeling roadmaps. In this installment, we want to go deeper into different ways of modeling the evolution of your architecture.
A key driver for management in general and enterprise architecture in particular is to get a better grip on the future, on the evolution of your enterprise. A common technique to support this is roadmapping. A roadmap is a strategic plan that shows the main steps or milestones needed to achieve a desired outcome. It articulates the strategic direction of your enterprise and shows the path forward. It helps you identify what is needed and what the main dependencies and priorities are, and serves as a communication instrument to align the organization along a common course of action.
– Marc Lankhorst, Fabian Aulkemeier
In a previous blog post on the features of our collaboration platform, we have explained how you can support people in working together on architectures and other models via structured workflows. In that post, we looked ahead at future features to support this kind of collaboration. Time to update you on the latest developments!
Enterprise architecture is often perceived as an abstract, conceptual, and somewhat esoteric discipline practiced by ‘high priests’ who provide guidance with their lofty ‘architecture principles.’ It’s true that architects are often concerned with overarching, cross-cutting concerns that are not always visible to the people ‘in the trenches,’ but this view of enterprise architecture is misguided at best and increasingly misses the mark.
-Nick Reed and Bart Molenkamp
In today’s business landscape, effective transformation is critical for enterprises to stay competitive. By definition, transformation happens over time.
Enterprises (or some subsection thereof) have a current state which needs to change for the better. That change – however small or large – results in a different future state. With the widespread adoption of Agile working practices and DevOps-based continuous delivery, these changes can be very small and very frequent.
Marc Lankhorst, Fabian Aulkemeier
Enterprise architecture, agile software development, and DevOps are sometimes seen as being at odds. We think they can fruitfully collaborate and interface, but how do you do that? How can you align the concepts and processes from these worlds and bridge the cultural gap?
In modern enterprises, change is no longer a simple, top-down affair. All levels of the organization need to be involved, and everyone from shop-floor employees to the CEO need to work on local improvements to business processes. Lean projects and agile product development teams must rapidly innovate digital environments, strategists need to invent and experiment with new business models, project and program portfolio managers have to decide on investment allocations, and those responsible for domains like risk management and regulatory compliance have to do their part. This “all hands on deck” approach requires enterprise-wide transparency and visibility of plans, structures, opportunities and constraints.
In my two previous blog posts, I described dependency analysis and impact analysis. These two kinds of analysis focus on what you might call the steady state of your enterprise, or the enterprise at rest. But there is also the enterprise in motion, where we look at the behavior of the enterprise, in particular its business processes.
In my previous blog I wrote about the importance of models to successfully complete a merger, acquisition or divestiture. Of course, one organization’s divestiture may be another one’s acquisition. In this blog post I’ll share one my personal experiences as a consultant, supporting two government agencies that were in the middle of this process.
Many organizations with large legacy application landscapes can no longer postpone a major overhaul of their IT. But how do you avoid creating tomorrow’s legacy today all over again? And how do you spend your IT budget in the most sensible way? Next to appropriate design and development practices (e.g. enterprise architecture, agile and DevOps, as we addressed in our previous blog) you need to manage your application portfolio as a whole, to decide where it is most important to invest.
Agility has become a key ability of enterprises. The pace at which customers require changes, at which new laws and regulations affect services and introduce processes, and the ease with which competitors can disrupt your business, as Google and Apple do nowadays, leads to tremendous pressure. Pressure to change rapidly, to adopt new technologies, to generate growth, to scale up or to reduce cost. Read more
There is a lot of power in Business Process Management (BPM) and process thinking. Our process flow diagrams describe ‘what is done’, and support us in designing, improving and controlling our processes. The results of processes should be of value to our customers. But how do our customers experience our processes? A very powerful technique, aimed at customer experience, is the Customer Journey. It is a must-have technique for your BPM/Lean toolkit!
In many organizations a mythical creature lays deep down in the catacombs, otherwise known as the server rooms. This dark monster has an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Normally these creatures are in search of gold. However, this kind doesn’t fancy gold, this one hoards applications!
If we look at current IT-trends it is clear that everybody has heard of Big Data. Although there are some known successes (for example US retailer Target which through its extensive data could predict pregnancy faster than the person involved) many companies spend millions (or even billions) of dollars hoarding big data, without using it properly. Read more
Enterprise Portfolio Management (EPM) is the discipline that supports this allocation of investments to various asset categories of the organization, such as capabilities, applications, or infrastructure. EPM helps to create a healthy set of projects and programs that realize strategic goals.
Strategy execution remains a challenging task for many organizations. The ‘Digital Enterprise’ requires major business transformations, delivered at speed. Most organizations are in a constant state of change. The ‘unfreeze-change-freeze’ model, reasoning from the current to a desired future state, no longer applies; the current state is always in flux and the future state is a moving target. Read more
As outlined in another blog, architecture-based enterprise portfolio management plays a crucial role in an integrated business transformation approach. Portfolio management is responsible for allocating investments to various asset categories and for creating a healthy project and program portfolio mix that realizes the organizational goals. There should be a balance in, for example, the types of projects (development, research, etc.) and long-term and short-term projects.
The other day, while I was musing about the reasons why many large organizations see many of their IT initiatives fail or underachieve, I came up with a rather simple conclusion: ‘project thinking’ is the root cause of these disappointments. Let me explain. Read more