Saturday, June 6, 2015

Communicating Enterprise Architecture

A main success factor for us is that we realized that business needs a vision not technical design. All parts of your organization needs to participate in the enterprise transformation. Only a small fraction has technical insight, the majority have other concerns. Therefore we have a “city” regulation plan for our systems landscape. Just like city planning. Politicians look at concepts and overall quality of a regulation, with blocks, roads, and parks (e.g.). They do not bother with the technical building drawings. This is where we think many EA projects fail; they tend to focus on the technical drawings, not the quality of life for the organization (eg. Population for a city).

The IT-regulation plan is a “City plan” and is a contemporary view of all major functional areas (systems) and their main functions. It has a color legend so that is proves to be a good transition architecture illustration. It is maintained 2 times a year to reflect ongoing projects and decisions from the portfolio board. Further more we have a roadmap for all existing systems (silos) and a modernization scenario which is the overall plan for major effort during the next 10 years. These are all used when describing the mandate of new projects, where the work effort is illustrated on the target architecture and the regulation plan.

The regulation plan has proven to be very good for communication our business for all parts of the organization. Even the Finance Minister has a A0 copy in her office. The power of is comes to life when business processes are explained as a “tour of the city”. People like stories and understand the effects on the city; where maintenance must be conducted or new building has to be erected. It really brings business and IT to the same table.

So take a look at our "City Plan". Although in Norwegian you get the idea of how a visualization of structure can form the basis of something to communicate upon.  The illustration is quite large so it is presented at

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Communicating Enterprise Architecture by Tormod Varhaugvik is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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