13 years, 8 months ago

Focus of Enterprise Architecture?

We put our marker on what the focus of Enterprise Architecture should be a a year ago this week with the release of our vanilla EA Capability Map.  Skip a year forward, and the conversation still rages as hotly as it did then.  Perhaps it’s not surprising that the vanilla EA Capability Map post, even though it’s a year old, is still the most read post on our blog.  So as we celebrate its first birthday, here is an interesting illustration that still makes that post relevant today:

RSessions Thinking in terms of a new paradigm for EA: Simple As Possible Architectures (SAPA).

aleksb6 @RSessions the common perception of #entarch is that it’s too heavy; so with Simple As Possible Architectures, would EA even exist?

RSessions @aleksb6 EA would have a more tightly focused vision.

aleksb6 @RSessions can you elaborate what “more tightly focused vision” for #entarch would look like?

RSessions @aleksb6 One completely focused on the issue of SAPA (Simple as Possible Architectures.)

aleksb6 @RSessions how would that be implemented? how do major responsibilities of #entarch change from where they are now?

RSessions @aleksb6 EA would no longer focus on improving business or improving IT, but on ensuring solutions are SAPA.

I was with Roger right up until that last tweet.  In my experience, Enterprise Architecture groups that don’t focus on improving business or IT capabilities cannot justify their existence in medium to long term.  Tackling complexity of our environments is something that we should do, but certainly not to the exclusion of stakeholder driven concerns.  This is where a Capability Map is useful, if nothing else, as a sanity check.  Tying EA processes and services to the Capability Target Diagram ensures the correctness of EA itself, so it doesn’t focus on one concern to the detriment of others.