10 years, 8 months ago

How to Ensure Enterprise Architecture Success

Last week I asked everyone to get creative with Enterprise Architecture and bring sexy back. This week I would like to know how you arrived at the decision of implementing Enterprise Architecture and would like to guide you through the next steps.

Ensure Enterprise Architecture success

If you have managed to sell the value of Enterprise Architecture within your organization, laying the groundwork to ensure its success should be your next step.

In order to do so, you will need to go back in time for a moment and think about the reasons why you decided to implement EA (do you still keep the Sports Almanac from that time?)

What business issues are you trying to solve? What outcomes are you expecting by implementing EA? What outcomes is your executive leadership team expecting?

Once you have modeled your current state architecture and answered these questions, you can use them to derive your future state model of the enterprise.

One bite at a time

Showing incremental value and communicating to the organization frequently on your EA journey will help keep the leadership engaged and supporting your initiative. This journey from current state to your future state nirvana is not a single road. There are multiple paths you can take depending on the priorities of your organization. Prioritize the expected outcomes and put a roadmap together with a timeline for each. This way, you can continually show value with the big picture, future state, in mind. It won’t take long before your leadership team sees the value and starts to bombard you with requests further empowering EA in your organization.

Check your ego at the door

Have you ever failed trying to implement Enterprise Architecture? There are many reasons why EA fails in organizations that started with executive support. Below are some guidelines to prevent this from happening:

  • Make sure that you and your fellow enterprise architects do not act like the smartest guys in the room.
  • Don’t create an ivory tower approach with too much governance or process right away.
  • Educate the EA team to become trusted advisors to the organization by listening to the problems and issues different groups are experiencing.
  • Engage the organization in a way that empowers individuals to become part of the solution.
  • Don’t ever ask any teams within your organization to provide data or their time without giving them something valuable in return.

To summarize, getting executive leadership support and buy-in to start an Enterprise Architecture practice within an organization is not usually that difficult. What is difficult is being able to show business value quickly and communicating that back to the organization effectively.

Assuming that you had executive support at one time, what were the reasons your organization gave up on believing in Enterprise Architecture?

If given another chance, what would you do differently?

See you next week, same time, same place.

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