As I talked about in last week’s post, I believe that Enterprise Architecture is all about getting organized and prepared, to help an organization reach its future goals. For those organizations who are just beginning their EA journey, this entails having an understanding of where you are currently, and what the effort will be to get you to your future state. Much like preparing to take a trip, you need to have a destination in mind. From there, you look at different areas of planning and ask various questions. How far am I going? What mode of transportation will I use? Where will I stay? How long do I expect to be gone? Will I need a map? How much will it cost me? Will I need a passport? What will the weather be like? What should I pack? All of these questions hopefully lead to the end goal of a pleasant trip.
Similarly, you need to ask these same questions when you begin to implement an EA:
- Where are we right now? Or, what is our current state?
- How are we structured? Or, what’s our charter?
- What are our standards? Or, what are our business and technology guiding principles?
- What’s our destination? Or, what will the future state look like?
- How long do I expect to be gone? Or, what’s our timeline?
- Will I need a map? Or, what does my roadmap look like?
- How much will it cost? Or, what’s our budget target?
- What equipment will we need? Or, what hardware and software and telephony will we need?
- How will we stay on track? Or, how do we intend to govern/manage the project?
The success of an EA initiative depends on the answers to these questions. And much like a trip planner, a Common Requirements Vision bundles all these answers together. This information is then stored in someplace easily accessible, such as an online repository.
Of course, this analogy may seem a little simplistic, given the pace of business and the degree of complexity over the course of the initiative. Goals and priorities, and technology can change. This means keeping up a productive pace, and maintaining good governance. And much like a pleasant trip, the journey in the end is worth it – to the organization and its stakeholders.
Here’s to success in your individual and organizational journeys.