7 years, 5 months ago

Configuring the EA approach

Link: http://lundbergdaniel.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/configuring-the-ea-approach/

I often don’t like when EA discussions take the route into meta concepts. Enterprise architects – as the abstract thinkers they often are – have a tendency to discuss meta concepts. “What does the meta model of that method look like?”, “What do you mean when you say capability?”, “How do you define enterprise architecture?”. I think the reason why I don’t get into those discussions is because it so often is too difficult to get a common understanding, especially if the discussion is on a digital forum and not in real life. I am impressed though by the persons that really take on the effort of defining important concepts. Take a look at his LinkedIn discussion: “Wikipedia and the definition of Enterprise Architecture”!

So here I am now, trying to describe some sort of meta concepts of EA approaches. Who could have known! I have chosen to call it “configuring” in the title instead, makes me feel a little bit better! What I have found in my work is that it is often not the chosen framework that decides what the approach of the EA effort will look like. It is more a matter of what area the key responsible architect is familiar with. I have tried to divide this into three different types of approaches. Feedback and discussion much wanted!

Method Centric

A structured approach where both the order of activities and the concepts used follows a defined method.

Core Concept

One or two core concepts guides almost all work during the EA effort. One example is to use the business processes as the core concept. The business in analyzed in terms of its processes, and the future state is also defined first in terms of processes.


In the approach I call Toolbox the order of activities and the concepts used are chosen freely and the order is not set in advance. This makes it much up to the architects’ experience to get good results.

To compare these approaches with playlists of music, it would look like this:

Method Centric: The one-album-approach. A playlist with one album from one artist, and of course no random play.
Core Concept: The one-artist-approach. A playlist representing one artists entire career. It’s OK to listen to christmas songs as long it is with the chosen artist.
Toolbox: Just random play :-) If you need order then make separate playlists for different genres.

Do you recognize these types of approaches? Do you prefer one over the other?