Typical deliverables and methods of current Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) practices are overwhelmingly complex. EAM tools often include hundreds of out-of-the-box diagrams. The two most common architectural meta-models provided by The Open Group® (ArchiMate®, TOGAF® Content Metamodel) are voluminous and consist of 30+ artifacts and 100+ potential relations between artifacts. Those meta-models are based on sophisticated meta-meta models but have severe issues with clarity. To illustrate this, let’s compare the way an application can be modeled with ArchiMate® with the artifact ‘Application’ of the Architectural Thinking Framework:
source: Archimate® 3.0.1 Specification,
Architectural Thinking Framework:
Tools and frameworks today provide a theoretical maximum that attempts to cover each and every potential usage scenario. And Companies typically need to heavily downsize them before implementation, which means that they end up with a proprietary rather than a standard model. The ‘standards’ are bloated, universal and require intense down-sizing so that it questions their role as a standard.
As a result, the whole discipline of EAM seems to be locked inside its famous ivory tower. Nobody (inside and outside the EAM community) understands the immature concepts, frameworks, and meta-meta-models of EAM. 99% of the company’s employees (e.g. executives, business people, software engineers, project managers) do not understand what architecture in the business & IT world is all about. Therefore they are not aware how important it is that they contribute to the business- and IT architecture.
Today, EAM is utterly unsuitable for their potential users (=most employees of the company).
So, why not make EAM as easy to use as an iPhone? How about focussing on models, methods, and diagrams that are standardized and designed for usability? Wouldn’t it be great to have a real standard that is so cool that everybody wants to work with it?
The core of Architectural Thinking is a minimalist framework that defines easy-to-use deliverables only.
What you should do:
- create an EA practice that is as easy to use as an iPhone. This is a prerequisite that everybody gets involved in creating the architecture of the company.
- The model and the architecture maps must be simple and self-explanatory otherwise they will not be accepted by a wide range of stakeholders.
- Define simple but well-defined integration points to relevant processes of the enterprise (e.g. vision building, governance, solution development)