For sure, Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) is still a very immature, weakly defined field. Most of the methods, tools, and frameworks suit the requirements of real-world projects only to a small degree. Most of the elements EAM tries to structure and manage towards a to-be state’ are abstract and hard to grasp. Archimate®, a modeling notation for EAM, for example, defines more than thirty elements, most of them are vague abstractions and far from tangible. In practice, EAM is much more focused on designing application landscapes than providing a holistic view of the enterprise. EAM is still very much about ‘application portfolio management’ that tries to minimize IT costs without alignment to the business capabilities.
But how can this sad situation be changed?
Our suggestion is to apply three values to your EAM practice:
Each and every architectural model, map, principle, and integration artifact and its significance must be self-explanatory and understood by relevant stakeholders within a minute.
The Architectural Thinking Framework© only includes models, maps, principles and integration points that have proven to be valuable and work in any mid- to large size company. It defines an invariant minimal core that can be extended by companies easily.
80 percent of architectural work should be done by the many e.g. by autonomous, cross-functional teams. Thus, everybody becomes an architect on a micro level contributing to the overall big picture of the company. Dedicated architect roles are used for ensuring conceptual integrity on capability- and enterprise-wide levels only.
Collaboration is fostered by easy to be understood, lean models and maps, and by using Web 2.0 features (like Wikis) as central architecture repositories, where everybody can contribute and comment.
Business Architecture drives Technology Architecture, not vice-versa. Business people are encouraged to start thinking in architectural structures that are connected to each other. Thus business is treated as part of the architected system not only as its user. Four out of five artifacts of the architectural model (Value Streams, Capabilities, Business Objects, Application) are purely business related. We value the work of the Business Architecture Guild and their BIZBOK®