Meeting Recap: Center for EA

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in EA Perspectives | 0 comments

On March 4 & 5 we conducted a meeting of our Center for Enterprise Architecture members hosted by MITRE in Washington DC.  We discussed a wide variety of items related to the EA profession including FEAPO.  Here are a few of my thoughts and summaries of the discussions:

Our center and masters program was built around the philosophy that EA is much more than IT Architecture and should be applied to the entire organization (with the input from many of you).  We have always believed that EA must move beyond its roots in IT.  Here are a few things that are hampering this evolution (in our opinion). We need to work together to collectively address these (an others) issues so that EA does evolve beyond IT to become true Enterprise-wide Architecture.  Here are some thoughts – this is far from a complete list – please send me other items/issues that I might have missed:

We all want EA to move beyond IT and it is slowly starting to make this move in a few organizations.  However, I see it still primarily being the domain of the IT organization in most organizations today.  Many of these IT organizations are staffed primarily/solely by IT people and some have failed to make the transition from an IT Architecture mindset/orientation to a true Enterprise (big E) Architectural practice.  There are many possible reasons for this failure but some of main reasons are a lack of business acumen and understanding, a lack of business related skill sets and a lack of understanding of business value and how EA contributes to this value.   The result is an EA organization that is viewed as an IT planning group that has little appreciation or understanding outside of IT.

Because of this lack of business focus from the EA group, some organizations are starting their own business architecture groups that are separate from the EA group.  In these cases, the EA group is really the IT Architecture group.  In my opinion, this takes us back to the 1980s in our thinking about business and IT – business and technology are more intertwined today than ever before and will be even more so in the future.  To separate business architecture from IT architecture is a step backwards in thinking in my opinion.  When I talk to organizations that have done this, they don’t argue my point but rather say that is was politically easier to take this route than to “blow up” the EA group and restructure it and staff it appropriately to be a true enterprise (Big E) architecture group.   If we in EA want to address this trend, we have to be proactive and evolve or risk being left behind – we don’t have another decade to figure this out as well – the rest of the organization is moving forward.

So what do we need to do?   I will address this question in my next post

Read More

Quarterly Blog Post (2013 Q4)

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This is the first of a quarterly blog on the evolution of the enterprise architecture profession.  In this installment, I will give you an idea of the types of topics I intend to discuss over time.  More about me at:  http://ea.ist.psu.edu/cameron.php and more about the center at http://ea.ist.psu.edu

One of the main goals of FEAPO is to assist in the evolution of EA into a “real profession” (on par with established professions such as accounting and engineering).  We have quite a way to go before either of these goals is achieved.  I am going to spend a lot of time on the evolution of the profession in future posts.

Recently I was asked to speak to a group of EA professionals at Microsoft and discussed some of the major milestones that I believe we need to have in place as part of the evolution of EA in a “real profession”.  My presentation was very well received and I’d like to share the main points and expand on these points in later posts.

Some of the main items that I feel are needed to help EA become a “real profession” include:

  • Internationally Recognized “Accrediting” Body
  • Commonly Accepted Definition/Perspective of EA
  • Commonly Accepted Career Path Structure and Associated Competency Sets
  • Certifications and Degrees that Map to the Career Path Structure
  • Commonly Accepted Body of Knowledge that Supports the Career Path Structure  (BOK)
  • Model Academic Curriculum (Undergraduate and Graduate)
  • A Commonly Embraced Roadmap for the Future of the Profession
  • Creation of an Academic Research Community

I will address each of these briefly in this installment and will drill down into more detail in future posts.  I have done many presentations all over the globe on variations of the bullet points above and typically get one of two responses. The first (and most common) response is, “Yes!  How can I get involved?” and the second (and luckily less common) is one of cynicism and the response is typically something like “I’ve tried all of this before and you’ll never get this industry to agree on much – good luck”.   The people that fall into the second group only hold this profession back in my opinion.  I’m sure that some people don’t want EA to progress beyond its current state and will explain the reasons why in future installments.  I will also explain how we are organizing efforts through FEAPO to address many of the items above and more over time.

The current state of EA is very fragmented in my opinion with many groups claiming to represent the profession as a whole or parts of the profession (data architecture, software architecture, business architecture, etc.).  I will explore this fragmentation and the need to come together and put more of a “one face” to this profession in future installments.

There are many organizations offering certifications as well.  Some universities are starting to offer EA courses.  One of the issues with the certifications and courses is that currently we can put “Enterprise Architecture” on just about anything we want and there is no recognized body to say whether the certification or course is good, bad, or somewhere in the middle.  I talk with many companies and often hear about the confusion (and frustration) that many people feel toward the many certifications and organizations in this field.  Many larger companies offer their own internal EA certifications because of this fragmentation and confusion but what does being a Bronze Level or Level 2 Enterprise Architect from Company X or Y really mean?

At Penn State we formed a large advisory group consisting of leading corporations, government bodies and industry associations to help us define the competencies that we should be building in our programs.  We currently have over 70 organizations from seven countries involved.   We took this approach to get as much cross industry input into our programs as possible since no model curriculum or academic accrediting body exists for EA at present.    Also, there is no organized academic research community for enterprise architecture which greatly hampers wide spread recognition and adoption in large research universities – more on this in the future.

I believe that I have hit all of the bullet points above either directly or indirectly except for the point on a commonly embraced roadmap for the future of the profession.  This bullet is poorly worded and what I’m trying to get at is the need for a common vision on where EA is going as a profession.  I talk with many people that believe that EA needs to become “true” Enterprise Architecture and not just Enterprise IT Architecture as it has been traditionally practiced in many organizations.  I call this “Big E” Enterprise Architecture where we’re doing EA across the enterprise and not solely in the IT organization.  These same people then go on to say that if the goal is “Big E” then EA needs to reside outside of IT, perhaps under Strategic Planning.  I know of a few organizations that are considering this type of move for EA.  I will discuss this and other possible paths for EA (and the challenges that might inhibit these moves) in future posts as well.  Lots to discuss and explore and I’m looking forward to advancing this discussion over time.

Read More

Update: EA Perspective Paper

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in EA Perspectives | 0 comments

The first edition of the EA Perspective Paper has been approved by the FEAPO delegates.  We have Yes ballots from 15 of the 17 FEAPO member organization representatives and the other two need a bit more time and expect to have Yes votes to make it unanimous.

This is quite an achievement – to get 17 people to agree on anything is difficult, let alone 17 professional organizations.

I want to thank all of you for getting us to this point – many people have told me that you all would not stay together and not be able to find common ground and agree on much.   I think we all see the bigger picture for the profession and have been able to begin to find much common ground for the advancement of the profession. This paper is proof.   I am truly honored to be associated with this group!  In the next few years, this organization will really start making a positive impact on the EA profession.

The paper is currently out with a professional editor and will be ready to submit to Architecture and Governance Magazine by the October 3 deadline.  After publication, the paper will serve as the new entry for EA in Wikipedia.  The paper working group that will be responsible for the continued evolution of this document will officially kick off at the Los Angles meeting of FEAPO next month.

At the LA meeting we will also officially discuss and kick off the EA Career Path effort and working group.  I am getting much interest in this effort from a wide variety of organizations – most recently on a call with the Royal Bank of Scotland this past week.  We will also discuss making the career path effort the focus of the next Summit on the EA profession this spring.  Once we are better organized around this effort, we will invite all of the major analyst firms and other leading organizations to participate as well – I’ve received great initial interest from many of them already.

Thats it for now – thanks again to everyone!

Brian

Read More

FEAPO Board Updates

Posted by on Sep 15, 2013 in FEAPO Leadership | 0 comments

Hello All

Richard Martin and Kevin Brennan have formally joined the FEAPO Board of Directors, replacing Mark Lane and Barry Sellers. Barry will continue to be an ex-officio member of the Board in his role as FEAPO Treasurer, and Mark continues as Primary Delegate of CAEAP and in other leadership roles within FEAPO.

On behalf of all of us, I thank to Mark and Barry for their leadership, insights, and work on the Board as our organization emerged from an idea to the forward-looking organization we now have today. Of course, we have much farther to go as an organization, but the contributions of both men were critical to our success.

Thanks again to Barry and Mark for all they’ve done in their role as FEAPO board members!

Also, the FEAPO EA Perspective Paper is currently being approved by the FEAPO member organizations – we expect unanimous approval and will be publishing the paper in the next issue of Architecture & Governance Magazine.  After this, the paper will serve as the foundation for an updated EA Wikipedia page.

There is alot happening in FEAPO and I know those of you not on the FMO list don’t really see how much is happening – we are going to address this communication issue this fall

Thanks

Brian

Read More

On-site meeting of the Penn State IST EA Advisory Group

Posted by on Sep 15, 2013 in EA Research | 0 comments

Hello All:

Just a reminder that we are planning the next on-site meeting of the Penn State IST EA Advisory Group for Tuesday, September 28 (full day) and Wednesday September 29 (half day), 2010 at University Park.    The registration web site will be available soon.

At this meeting, we will update you on our great progress since the September 2009 meeting and we will have reports from the committees.  We will also be presenting a straw man of our long-term participation model for our EA research center for comment.  The functions of the committees will be under our new EA research center that is under development and we are working with the research committee to develop a straw man structure for the center that will be discussed at the meeting this September.  We will send further information prior to the meeting.  Please try to attend this meeting if possible – this will be an important meeting as it will set the structure and process for this group going forward.

Organizations interested in working with the center to set the research streams for the coming year are invited to attend the research meeting that occur on the afternoon of September 29 from 1 – 5 following the general group meeting – more information on this session will follow this summer.

We’re making great progress on many fronts and thank all of you for your continued support and enthusiasm.  I also thank you for the continuous flow of new organizations that many of you continue to refer to us.

More coming soon.

Brian

Read More