What a great first day at the Open Group conference in Austin. The big theme for today was the transformation of Enterprise Architecture to be business focused along with the corresponding Business Architecture practices. The sessions ranged from visionary, key methods to use and a real world case study. Nicely done!
The first three keynotes set this tone and drove it home with some great content.
- Business Driven Architecture for Strategic Transformations — David Baker, Principal, PricewaterhouseCoopers
- The Devon Energy EA Story — Tim Barnes, Chief Architect, Devon Energy
- The New World of Enterprise Architecture, from IT Architecture to Enterprise Architecture — Mike Walker, Principal Architect, Enterprise Strategy & Architecture, Microsoft
All three of these sessions had really nice continuity. There were no conflicts in the opinions and generally the same outcome was derived from each.
Session 1 – Business Driven Architecture for Strategic Transformations
This session talked specifically about business strategy and architecture that enables EA. David discussed the key challenges, shown below:
David provided some great questions that we can leverage to ensure that our business architecture models are as accurate as possible and correctly represents the business. Below are some of those questions:
- What are our business models today, and how have they changed over the last 10 years?
- How do our business models compare with those of our traditional and nontraditional competitors?
- How can we adjust our overall business model to include more revenue from the models that are most highly valued today (such as IP landlord and innovative manufacturer) ?
- To make any change in our business model, what capabilities do we need to further develop, and what strategic experiments can we do today to test new business models for tomorrow?
David asserts that when you answers these questions that they are the input to the impact analysis necessary to determine how the business must change to reach its goals. I agree in a lot of ways but I don’t think this list is complete and just a sampling.
Built into the PWC methodology is external frameworks, a couple of these are: MIT CISR Operation Models and Business Capability Models. It was good to see that these already mainstream models are used and “fit to purpose”. See below:
The Key Takeaways that David wanted everyone to walk away with was the following:
- Drive detail into the strategy context
- Know the business model and any desired changes
- Know the operating model and any desired changes
- Perform impact analysis using the capability map
- Bundle changes into initiatives
- Build the supporting case for change and sequenced roadmap
Session 2 – The Devon Energy EA Case Study
This one was a really good presentation that showed a transformation of an organization that went from level zero maturity to a one or two. I really like how Tim walked the audience through not only the operational and framework elements but also the organizational change management and his challenges in addressing these.
Tim then talked about how he communicates EA to his customers. While I don’t think this is a complete definition, I do like the key message of simplicity.
“EA has been established to ensure Devon’s information systems &
technologies become less complex, more consistent across divisions, and
evolve with Devon’s business.”
I believe that simplicity and consumability is core to the function of EA as I talk about this often. As you can see on the right, this is a slide I use in my presentations. It’s the classic Einstein quote:
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simple.”
There was also a great extension of a classic EA analogy around housing infrastructure and zoning seen below:
What was really nice to see is that Devon extended TOGAF in many ways. The area that they focused on qu
ite a bit was the meta-model and taxonomy. Kudos to Tim Barnes for the vision and execution behind this great work.
The presentation was wrapped up with some really good tips that Tim and Devon had created, those include:
- It takes an organization to deliver on EA; an architect’s role is no more important than an analyst, manager, etc.
- Many high value, soft benefits are recognized; for example collaboration across business divisions to make decisions
- It is critical to have the business (not IT) deliver EA-related communications
- Discipline is required to follow a consistent decision-making process
- Tracking metrics must be simple and visible; keep the focus on the outcome
- Everyone counts software applications differently; there are many ‘right’ answers
- Organizing systems and technologies into common categories significantly helps demystify a complex environment
Overall great job by Tim and it shows his organization going through the first few stages of maturity of EA.
Session 3 – The New World of Enterprise Architecture
This was my session. My session tied these other two sessions together from a strategy and vision perspective. I broke the presentation down into four core areas:
- Where the industry is going
- The required mindset shift
- Complementary methods, models and tools
- How Microsoft does EA
I then discussed the key characteristics of the new world of enterprise architecture.
There are more descriptions of Enterprise Architecture as a whole but these are the key characteristics of the new world of Enterprise Architecture.
- Enterprise Transformation – EA is now and in the future focusing at the enterprise level and emerging out of the project and program level. This is necessary change to get the proper breadth to ensure that solutions are aligned to the business objectives but also maximized for the whole of the company rather than a specific function or business unit.
- Innovation for Growth – Enterprise Architects will provide innovation services to the enterprise by distilling key market trends from a business and technology perspective. An example of this is the effect that mobility or cloud computing has on specific business models.
- More than Technology – EA is often confused with IT architecture but EA is much more than technology and primarily focused on providing value for the business.
- Meaningful Business Partnerships – We use the words align business to IT. For EA’s it’s much more. EA’s must partner with the business. This means we don’t just distill a set of goals and objectives but we work with the business to rationalize, challenge, propose and aid in the business transformation activities.
- Corporate Sustainability – EA’s play a key role in ensuring the long term success of the business through the enterprise capabilities and solutions we enable. Companies will start to use EA as an insurance policy once we are able to prove this model in a consistent way.
- Drive through Emotional Intelligence – This is a key theme for enterprise architects. It allows EA’s to have the social and emotional intelligence to lead an organization from these key characteristics.
Key Message: There is no IT and Business Alignment. IT is the business and should be treated as such. That will not happen until we conduct ourselves as a business.
So what is the difference between Enterprise Architecture and IT Architecture? They are different but the same. What you see below is one way to represent this. IT Architecture can be mapped to a maturity model as one way to describe it as the foundation of Enterprise Architecture. This shows that IT Architecture is very much the foundation for Enterprise Architecture.
This means that we much balance these two aspects in a meaningful way. The balancing ensures that we stay focused on delivering value for the business at various levels of abstraction.
I then talked about the enabling methods and models that EA’s should evaluate and use to shift to Enterprise Architecture.
One of these was the EACM model I created last year while I was running an Enterprise Architecture organization. See the link: http://www.mikethearchitect.com/2010/07/the-enterprise-architecture-capability-model-eacm.html
A capability driven approach is what needs to be taken in this case. Instead of a generic definition, let’s define the space by talking about the capabilities that comprise Enterprise Architecture. This will provide the breadth and organization to describing the domain.
So what is meant by a capability? Often times this term is used in the Business Capability context. But if you is those same principles for the design of a business capability you can define a capability as:
- Abstraction of processes, activities, people and technology
- Used to provide a level of breadth without losing organization or intent
- Remove the complexities of the “lines”
- To only be the starting point, not the end to facilitate a higher level conver
sation about a specific domain/area
After talking about the enabling capabilities, I discussed the models that we could use to enable these business enablement and strategy capabilities.
MIT / CISR – Kaplan / Norton
Benefits Dependency Networks
· Blue Ocean Strategy
· Strategy Maps
From there I talked a bit about enablement of these models and how to best leverage them in the right context.
All in all a great set of keynotes and sessions during the day. For other sessions in the day Systems Flow created a nice write up saving me a bit of time. Thanks guys for the shout out!