Defining Roles and Responsibilities in Whole-Enterprise EA

Thursday, April 6, 2017 | Likes: 0 | Comments: 0

Marc Gewertz

Enterprise Architect

EIM Consultants LLC

Defining Roles and Responsibilities in Whole-Enterprise EA

There is much confusion across the business, government, and non-profit organizations as to exactly what the differences are between the practices of Enterprise Architecture, Business Architecture, and IT Architecture. Most of the confusion is a result of the combination of overlap of interests along with many differences in terminology between architects, managers, and executives. This is especially the case when their activities are coupled with external organizations, customers, and stakeholders with different interests and needs, a common working environment in today's marketplace.

Furthermore, the EA frameworks for Enterprise, Business, and IT Architecture insufficiently cover the architecting of the process and information architectures and fail to address the architecting of mission offering architectures. This causes critical gaps to exist in the practice of Whole-Enterprise EA, considering the mission capabilities are the ultimate need for the business and IT capabilities.

Nor are there specific EA-oriented frameworks for these other architectures, resulting in their architecting being loosely coupled to the enterprise, business, and IT architecting. This lack of specific EA frameworks in these other architectural disciplines leaves these architectural disciplines to rely only on industry standards in these topics, and requirement statements without architectural framework direction relative to the practice of EA. In other words, no common definition exists across all disciplines specifically to integrate the efforts of all EA practitioners, each working under the guidance of independent and disconnected discipline-specific definitions.

"Defining Enterprise" is the first handbook of 'Who Does What' in the Practice of EA. It describes a systems view of capability management (i.e., "the management of the enterprise system capability"), holistically defining the integration of capabilities, managers, architectures, and architects. It is an easy way to see all of EA. The book is intended to provide executives, managers, and beginners in EA with a fundamental understanding of the scope of EA practice in terms of managerial and architectural roles and responsibilities. The book does this without getting into the complexity of, and confusion with, the use of EA frameworks, and does not use or rely upon any ‘organization-specific’ terms that vary across industries, nor ‘industry buzzwords’ that are here today and gone tomorrow.

Experienced architects are also finding the book very useful, including providing them with a mechanism to compare the content of the various EA frameworks and to determine program gaps in architectural content and coverage. Those who have chosen to utilize the book within their organizations are finding it is helping their organizations to better understand and communicate within and outside their organizations, greatly improving cross-functional interactions and the use of multiple frameworks.

"Defining Enterprise" defines the breakdown of what an enterprise is through its basic needs so everyone involved in the practice of Enterprise Architecture understands everything related to the fundamentals of EA regardless of specific needs, interests, organizations, or terminology.

The definition begins by defining an enterprise as a collection of people, processes, information, technology, and other resources capable of realizing a value-added ability to satisfy a customer-based need, to accomplish the goal of serving the enterprise's mission and sustaining the existence of the enterprise.

This definition is then used to define an enterprise system as the conceptual view of an enterprise as it functions in systematically developing and delivering value-added offerings satisfying needs, serving the mission, and sustaining organizational existence.

In turn, the enterprise system architecture is next defined as a conceptual view of a systematic ability to realize a description of the enterprise system capability. In practice the enterprise system architecture is described through multiple architectures of common resources serving different purposes for a common mission, driving the need to effectively and systematically describe all architectures as one cohesive architectural description. Teamwork between executives, managers, and architects is therefore essential to achieving success. The breakdown of the enterprise definition continues down to the capabilities and their elements, ultimately identifying the roles and responsibilities of all the specific EA disciplines.

For more information watch this short video summary for details.