Thursday, June 27, 2013

Do Not Underestimate the Emotional Deliverables of Enterprise Architecture!

As Enterprise Architects, most probably from an Information Technology background, we are naturally inclined to think in terms of frameworks, processes, deliverables, reference models, reference architectures, technical specifications etc. Many of us fail to realize the power of Emotional Deliverables! Unfortunately, they do not show up on any architecture framework.

There is a lot of power in these Emotional Deliverables - consensus, agreement, cheerful participation, a sense of purpose in going after the project at hand, buy-in and feeling appreciated - these can make or break a multimillion dollar project!

Lets ask ourselves this question: What would you rather have - a project that meets 95% requirements but has 0% buy-in and agreement OR a project that meets 80% requirements but has the entire organization standing behind it to deliver?

These emotional deliverables are real and end up costing millions of dollars on major projects as many of you might have experienced first hand. Let us remind ourselves to deliver on these important artifacts and help guide our enterprises to ever-expanding frontiers!

As you know, I love to hear back from you, whether you agree with me or not. So please keep your comments coming and thank you very much for reading..

Saturday, June 22, 2013

EA Worst Practice #1 - Enterprise Architecture for its own sake!

So, how many times have you listened to someone drone on and on about what they do, without any regard to how it will help YOU solve YOUR problems. Do you have the time or really care about the intricacies and fuel efficiency of the greatest lawn mower in the world if you happen to live on the 16th floor of a building?

Enterprise architecture, if not directly tied to a business outcome, sounds just like this picture to a business leader - bla bla bla, meh meh meh... "So what have you done for me lately?", she might ask!

Beware of this worst practice of Enterprise Architecture, where we try to explain the (boring) frameworks and terminology to business or IT leaders just for the sake of Enterprise Architecture. Please remember, our mission is to enable business strategies by providing optimal solutions - all rest is fluff.

Nobody needs to care about Enterprise Architecture but for the value it brings. If we can articulate that value by first understanding our business and then speaking its language, we will never have to explain Enterprise Architecture for its own sake!

I have received feedback via email and comments from many of you. Thanks for your support. I am delighted that you are enjoying the posts as much as I am.

As usual, I love to hear from you so please feel free to drop me a line whether you agree with me or not. Thank you for reading..

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Enterprise Architecture Cartoon!

An Enterprise Architecture Cartoon!! Informative and funny.. Enjoy :-)

Credit: All credit goes to FlinchStudio who made this video (I think..)

Sunday, June 9, 2013

IBM's Own IT Transformation Example

So what is the value of Enterprise Architecture, and how can it really guide transformation in an enterprise. How do you crisply attribute the value of good planning, and articulate it to others? (... as we read in my previous posts, Enterprise Architecture is largely a planning function at heart). Many EAs struggle with this and are constantly working to get over this hump in their respective companies.

I have always tried to look up to some spectacular examples that have been extensively written and talked about - for both motivation and learning. The above picture captures one such IT transformation journey by IBM.

This is some serious consolidation:
  • # of CIOs reduced from 128 to 1
  • # of Datacenters reduced from 155 to 6
  • # of Applications reduced from 16,000 to 4,500
But there is more - in early 2009, senior business executives started to define a set of global Level 1 business processes with clearly identified Enterprise Business Owners. They continued to decompose the processes making significant efficiency and effectiveness gains.

The rest is history.. Please take a look at the following for a more detailed read:
Thank you for reading and I always love to hear from you, whether you agree or not :-)

I wish all of you the very best of luck and always look forward to discussing the macros and micros of Enterprise Architecture!

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