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

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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!


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