Situation and Challenge
Enterprise architecture (EA) aims, from the perspective of operations, to analyze how the company with its complex dependencies should approach and react to demands for change.
Enterprise design comprises both operations and IT. The organization’s business processes and information needs form the basis for an operations-driven definition of requirements. IT understands where operations are headed and can create the resources needed to effectively satisfy operational needs.
Collaboration between business operations and IT must be based on a common and accepted operational model. We must understand the relationships between the organization, processes, information, applications, services, systems and infrastructure. What challenges are involved in implementing and obtaining benefits from an enterprise architecture?
Required skills – problems with implementation
Operations-driven enterprise design aims to create the desired capabilities from the perspective of operations. Being able to manage complexity and present information in a simple manner form the basis for decision-making that leads to individual projects heading towards operational objectives.
There are several public EA frameworks. They are generally extensive and based on an IT perspective that results in major investments and low operational benefit. A framework that is customized based on specific operational needs is often a better option.
Only use flat files. Maintaining Visio, Word and PowerPoint documents quickly becomes completely impossible. A tool with a common drawing repository is needed where updates made in one place are implemented everywhere management is supported. This forms the basis for being able to conduct enterprise design and bring about an enterprise architecture.
Too big of an initiative from the start. Working on an EA project at the company does not necessarily mean the entire company takes part from the start. The initiative, maturity and involvement should be allowed to grow over time. Maturation takes place at the same time that each initiative should generate benefit.
Structurally correct approach
Assembling all of the company’s assets in one place enables true recycling. This leads to lower management costs, makes it easier for stakeholders to find information, promotes a higher degree of recycling and enables quicker development of operations and projects.
- Look upon enterprise design as a long-term, ongoing project that gradually creates value for the organization and that develops an enterprise architecture.
- Create a common drawing repository to ensure orderliness of all structural capital in one location – this forms the basis for an enterprise architecture.
- Work with a maturity model (e.g. EAMM – Enterprise Architecture Maturity Model) to ensure that the various aspects fall into place in the right order.
- Approach: let the projects do the work involved in developing the models, but provide guidance so that the capabilities are realized.
- Recycle project models when defining capabilities, architecture and plans.
- Structure is important when managing many and large models, as well as the relationships between them
- Manage the company’s assets so they obtain the desired quality – if the model cannot be trusted, it does not create value.
We have done this before
We have helped many of our customers with this. On several occasions, customers have had initiatives within EA, but have not quite succeeded.
A large automobile manufacturer faced the challenge of knowledge being possessed by individual employees, which resulted in major delays since the individuals were frequently those who were most busy. It could take several weeks to gain access to their know-how. An EA repository was designed, and a management process for approving models and moving them to the common component contributed to the models’ quality. This resulted in the projects recycling common models and gaining access to knowledge with a smaller degree of dependence on specific individuals. This led to shorter delivery times and higher quality.
An insurance company faced the challenge of gathering all of its models, which were spread out in many files. We set up a group-wide EA repository and added the models. An estimated SEK 120 million will be saved a year by not having to start over when a new project starts, as well as by recycling the common assets. One concrete example is a project that recycled concepts, which saved four months worth of work.
A public authority was faced by the challenge of a tool it had used to model laws and rules no longer being available. We loaded12,000 rules into a common EA repository, which means that work can now be continued when the rules are subjected to major changes. The rules can now also be included in definitions of requirements and in system development models.