Dragon1 Open EA Method

1. A new view on EA

    2. Dragon1 Introduction

    3. EA in Practice

    4. Way of Thinking

    5. Way of Working

    6. Way of Representing

    7. Way of Supporting















    Architecture Teams

    In the Dragon1 open EA Method three levels of architecture teams are recognized. On this page we elaborate on the differences between those teams, their roles and responsibilities.

    The three levels of architecture teams are:

    • Level 1. - Project Oriented Approach of EA – Ad Hoc / Unstructured Change
    • Level 2. - Process Oriented Approach of EA – Managed Change
    • Level 3. - Product Oriented Approach of EA – Controlled Change

    One could argue that there is also a level 0 - Not working with architecture. And a level 4. - Continuous Improvement.

    With the information on this page you can also score at what level and what side of the level you are now with your organization.

    What is an Architecture Team?

    An architecture team is a group of people with the roles or positions of an architect. A team often has a team manager or lead architect. If not, the team has often a departmental manager, like an IT Manager, CIO or CIO Office Manager.

    In an architecture team the roles can be divided into areas of architecture, domains of concerns or types working.

    Dragon1 prefers to have at least one EA, BA, IA and TA present as roles in an LME organization.

    Not all architects that work in an organization do have to be internal. For the design of solutions or expert knowledge, it is very wise to make use of external architects. But for the strategic work, the high-level architecture or creating reference architectures, it is best to have those architects on the payroll.

    Services Menu, Portfolio and Working Schedule

    Dragon1 advises every architecture team to define a service menu for their stakeholders / internal clients and to organize their work with a working schedule. In this way, the architects can do much more efficient their work, especially if there is a shortage of resources.

    On the schedule three types of work always are present: Planned Work, Project Work and Ad Hoc Work. Every week you need to be able to work on your general models and documents, to make sure you as a team are able to use the same baseline and can advise the clients using a solid foundation in the projects. And no week will pass by without some sudden issue occurring which needs immediate attention. And in order to have this al taken place in an orderly manner, every architecture team really needs a schedule.

    In order to have stakeholders / internal client request products, architects better create a portfolio so it can be communicated very easily what clients can expect when they need a product or make use of a service.

    Level 1. Project Oriented Approach of EA – Ad Hoc / Unstructured Change

    In this level architects are organized in the following way:

    There are various business departments and IT teams where architects are part of, there is no centralized architecture review board, architects participate in projects and work for project managers/program managers.

    'Architect' is not yet a position but a role. Architects mainly review the work of others and produce documents that contain a mix of plans for approaches, requirements and designs, instead of splitting them up into three. Architects follow change instead of managing and controlling change. There are no complete or correct Enterprise Architecture documents. There are some project-oriented / solution architecture documents. Architecture is done at an operational level, ad hoc.

    The word architecture often gets confused with infrastructure and IT. A lot of discussions are taking place about what is architecture and why to do architecture. There are no standards to work with, method and approaches are used at will. The added value of working with architecture is often not (widely) recognized.

    Architecture is something people find annoying: architects are only coming with smart remarks or suggestions too late, too little and afterwards. There are no Landscapes, Roadmaps and Blueprints used in meetings and projects. The architects work mainly for themselves.

    Level 2. Process Oriented Approach of EA – Managed Change

    In this level architects are organized in the following way:

    There is one corporate architecture team positioned within or near the IT department. Architecture is done at an operational and tactical level. Architects do not yet focus on creating standard architecture products, but on executing activities, like analyzing, consulting and advising. Their work consists of creating unstructured PowerPoint presentations, Excel sheet repositories and unstructured work documents containing architectural design fragments.

    There is a notion of Enterprise Architecture but the various architectures in the framework are not documented (well). There are some standards to work with, not everything may be used at will. Architects guide Change. An architect is a position. Architects and Project Managers are in each other’s way.

    The architects sometimes leave their ivory tower. The added value of working with architecture is recognized, but not tangible. Enterprise Architecture is really IT Architecture, to help implement IT Strategy. There are some Landscapes, Roadmaps and Blueprint in meetings and projects.

    Level 3. Product Oriented Approach of EA – Controlled Change

    In this level architects are organized in the following way:

    There is one team called “The Design Office”, positioned underneath the CFO or CIO. Architecture is done at operational, tactical and strategic level. Architects create (agile) designs for strategy, enterprise-wide (business / IT) solutions and (digital) transformations.

    There is a centralized architecture review board and architecture steering committee. And architects do not participate in projects but on top of projects: project managers/program managers work for the architects. The architect is the supervisor of realizing a solution with the architecture applied onto. Standards are enforced. Every architecture dossier is documented fully and compliant. Architects are in charge of Change.

    The architects are very often out of their ivory tower. The added value of working with architecture is recognized and tangible. Enterprise Architecture is the Bridge between Strategy and Transformation. Architects create effective and beautiful Landscapes, Roadmaps and Blueprints. And these are used in every meeting and project to support decision making.