9 years, 11 months ago

Troux 2011: Up Leveling Your EA Practice, Program by Program

Link: http://www.biske.com/blog/?p=829

This was a continuation of the previous panel discussion. Speakers were:
Sean Dwyer, Northwestern Mutual
Jennifer Pfaff, Jacobs Engineering
J-P Renaud, Jacobs Engineering
Eivind Nilson, Liberty Mutual
Moderator: Chuck Keffer, Troux

Q: Where are you in rolling out your current effort?
Sean: They are trying to roll out the ability to do assessments of infrastructure, roadmaps, and then send out a system feed to the governance organization. Their goal is to only have to enter information in one place.
J-P: They are rolling out Application Optimization right now, then Alignment, then Standardization. A lot of customers at the conference do Standardization first, others indicated Alignment might be the best place to start, but for them, Optimization gave them the immediate tangible benefits they needed and put in their business case.
Eivind: They also started with Optimization and a bit of Alignment. The questions they were trying to answer led us to those two modules as opposed to Standards. They went through the data gathering process and have pretty much completed it, however there are always new things they are finding. They are about to roll out a workshop where they bring stewards into the conversation not just as the data entry point, but as data consumers in their decision making process. They are establishing an advisory board with IT and business representation.

Q: Change management is a key part of your strategy. Can you talk about a few of the most important considerations underlying your approach?
Sean: This is a lifestyle change. If you don’t embrace this and get people to feel good about it, you’re dead. They had a change management communications lead assigned to the project that assisted them in their effort. They focus on baby steps, going for the single rather than the grand slam. They also chose not to start with Alignment. If you screw up within IT, people understand what you were trying to do and are more forgiving. If you screw up with your partners/sponsors that don’t have that solid understanding, the risks are greater.

Q: What concrete steps are you taking to keep the data current, correct, and complete?
Jennifer: They are adding more data stewards, having a first governance meeting soon, and establishing the processes.
J-P: They are taking a hierarchical approach to their data steward for more effective management and allowing individuals to only have a small set of data for which they are responsible. People also have a vested interest in keeping the data current.

Q: What are the target accomplishments that you are working toward?
Eivind: They are trying to speak in terms that are meaningful to their stakeholders. They positioned their data around some simple ideas. First, a summary view of the applications that are target versus non-target for rationalization, including which ones have a specific retirement date. The ones that don’t add up to some amount of dollars. This was the potential savings opportunity by IT owner. They took the same data by business owner to show the financial opportunity available. This seems to resonate very well with the people who have seen it. They also have a report that shows planned retirement by quarter. If there’s not much from your area, someone will ask why. They are documenting the dependencies and the reasoning behind their determination of target versus non-target.

Q: In launching your initiatives, did you leverage any EA framework?
Sean: No. It was more of a cultural thing.
J-P and Jennifer: No, but they did read Enterprise Architecture as Strategy and started there.
Eivind: They did use a standard business capability model for our industry, but tailored some of the language to make it specific to their company.

Q: Did you leverage any tools like stakeholder maps to obtain buy-in?
Sean: In the roadmapping effort they reached out to department heads and IT leaders and asked them what roadmap meant to them and what value they would get out of it.
Eivind: They just tried to make it as simple as possible.

Q: How does one measure success of an EA initiative and do it in a repeatable way?
J-P: Success was when we hit the ROI goal in the business case. Once past that, everything becomes easier. They are focused on that initial program and the ROI associated with it.
Sean: They have three year plans and divisional metrics. They measure how much they save through cost avoidance and reuse.
Eivind: They measure how many applications have been retired. They are still identifying targets and getting them on a roadmap.

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