Sunday, May 12, 2013

Creating a business context for Enterprise Architecture - Very Important!



As we saw in the last post, it is very important to understand that the most important aspect of Enterprise Architecture is alignment with business strategy. Cannot stress it enough - very very important!

Technical architecture is important, cloud computing is important, the great new programming language in town is important, the great new SaaS app that is wowing everyone is important, but nothing is as important (not even close) as understanding your business direction and helping it realize its vision through processes and technology.

One of the most common challenge for Enterprise Architects is the fact that business strategy, business direction and other such information is not readily available to them. Sometimes it is not written down any where, sometimes even the CIO does not have full access to it, many a times it is considered "none of an architect's business"!

Don't wait for the world to be perfect, build your own business context. What is there to lose? The most that can happen is that you will get it wrong. But trust me on two things - most often you will get it almost right; even if you do not get it right, the learning in the process will be invaluable!

If you have nothing to start with, here is a starter list that will help you create your own business context:

*Acronym Alert* OGSM = Objectives, Goals, Strategies and Measures - used by many companies for strategic planning purposes. Your company might use a different method, it is not very important for our current discussion.

I know what you are thinking - "Do I have to?" Yes, you have to! You have to learn how to read the annual report of your company!! :-)

By the way, this "creating-your-business-context-exercise" will be a rewarding exercise for your own personal growth. This is what really differentiates good Enterprise Architects from ones who are not. I know many of my technical friends might be itching to get started on the fun technology stuff, but hold your horses - we will be spending a whole lot of time on business first :-)

Would love to hear what you guys think, please feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions or would like me to write a more detailed article on a specific topic.

Thanks for reading!


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