11 years, 2 months ago

Should the IT Strategist role disappear with Enterprise Architecture?

Many companies in their IT department have two units: IT Strategy & Planning and Enterprise Architecture. As regularly these are two different people managing these units, there is a high risk this ends up in serious conflicts.

The IT Strategist needs to understand the organization’s overall business strategy and is supposed to develop a comprehensive IT Strategic Plan that aligns with the business strategy (linkage, support of goals and objectives, etc.). He will continually assess all areas in the IT department to make sure their efforts and initiatives support this IT strategic plan, highlight gaps and identify alternatives to close gaps. During the development of the IT Strategic Plan (creation and maintenance of a detailed project plan (schedule, WBS, etc.) for the development and execution) , he interacts with various IT and Business Governance committees, and supports the execution and the evaluation of that plan.

How much is this different from one of the role of any Chief Enterprise Architect?

Among various roles the Chief Enterprise Architect ensures that the organization’s strategy is understood and acted on. Ideally, he should contribute to the strategy itself. He also has to understand, advocate and support the organization’s business and IT strategies.

Enterprise Architecture should be used to develop an IT Strategy. The EA team is in charge of implementing an EA program, which involves articulating the desired future state, understanding the current state, identifying the gaps between the two states and developing approaches to close these gaps. The team is leading the creation or evolution of the EA function or program, including the coordination of an appropriately balanced pursuit of enterprise business, information, application, technology and solution architecture viewpoints. Understand new technology future IT directions and how they can Impact the business.

When creating the new architecture (blueprint or high level architecture) which is based on the business goals and directions, they will identify new technology options and key finding from IT assets mapping and technology as-is mapping. The gap analysis will document each element that we mapped in the current state and translate this into roadmaps with dependencies and assignments: group gaps into projects, write one page of project high level analysis, assign resources to projects and creating a road map.

MODAF Acquisition Views will help to define these projects including dependencies.

FEAF in section 4 EA Transition Strategy / TOGAF Phases E (Opportunities and Solutions) and F (Migration Planning) describe similar activities.

Enterprise Architecture is a bridge to make the connection between business side planning and enterprise IT strategy making. When successful it delivers the IT strategy documentation.

The role of the IT Strategist should be split into two sets of activities (Enterprise Architecture and PMO (project management office) and does not make anymore sense when an organization has these two units.

11 years, 2 months ago

Should the IT Strategist role disappear with Enterprise Architecture?

Many companies in their IT department have two units: IT Strategy & Planning and Enterprise Architecture. As regularly these are two different people managing these units, there is a high risk this ends up in serious conflicts.

The IT Strategist needs to understand the organization’s overall business strategy and is supposed to develop a comprehensive IT Strategic Plan that aligns with the business strategy (linkage, support of goals and objectives, etc.). He will continually assess all areas in the IT department to make sure their efforts and initiatives support this IT strategic plan, highlight gaps and identify alternatives to close gaps. During the development of the IT Strategic Plan (creation and maintenance of a detailed project plan (schedule, WBS, etc.) for the development and execution) , he interacts with various IT and Business Governance committees, and supports the execution and the evaluation of that plan.

How much is this different from one of the role of any Chief Enterprise Architect?

Among various roles the Chief Enterprise Architect ensures that the organization’s strategy is understood and acted on. Ideally, he should contribute to the strategy itself. He also has to understand, advocate and support the organization’s business and IT strategies.

Enterprise Architecture should be used to develop an IT Strategy. The EA team is in charge of implementing an EA program, which involves articulating the desired future state, understanding the current state, identifying the gaps between the two states and developing approaches to close these gaps. The team is leading the creation or evolution of the EA function or program, including the coordination of an appropriately balanced pursuit of enterprise business, information, application, technology and solution architecture viewpoints. Understand new technology future IT directions and how they can Impact the business.

When creating the new architecture (blueprint or high level architecture) which is based on the business goals and directions, they will identify new technology options and key finding from IT assets mapping and technology as-is mapping. The gap analysis will document each element that we mapped in the current state and translate this into roadmaps with dependencies and assignments: group gaps into projects, write one page of project high level analysis, assign resources to projects and creating a road map.

MODAF Acquisition Views will help to define these projects including dependencies.

FEAF in section 4 EA Transition Strategy / TOGAF Phases E (Opportunities and Solutions) and F (Migration Planning) describe similar activities.

Enterprise Architecture is a bridge to make the connection between business side planning and enterprise IT strategy making. When successful it delivers the IT strategy documentation.

The role of the IT Strategist should be split into two sets of activities (Enterprise Architecture and PMO (project management office) and does not make anymore sense when an organization has these two units.

11 years, 4 months ago

TOGAF 9 Migration Planning and Project Portfolio Management

Phase F in TOGAF helps to describe how to create a viable implementation and migration plan in co-operation with the portfolio and project managers. Very often companies already have in place a Project Portfolio Management framework and there may be a need to integrate your enterprise architecture with that.

As an example, PMI has introduced a standard for Portfolio Management, and portfolio managers have a resource to help them develop professionally and achieve success for themselves and their enterprise. Within an organization, a portfolio represents a collection of active programs, projects and other work undertaken at a specific point in time to help the organization achieve strategic objectives. In essence, a portfolio reflects the priorities, investments and resource allocations.

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) may be part of an enterprise governance framework. It is a management process designed to help the organization-:

-To ensure that the organization is doing the “right things”, optimally allocating scarce resources toward the enterprise’s objectives
-To acquire and view information about all projects
-To sort and prioritize each project according to certain criteria, such as strategic value, resource impact, cost, and so on.

PPM has several activities which are similar to the objectives of managing a financial portfolio:

-The identification of all the individual demands in the portfolio
-The development of a “big picture” view and a deeper understanding of the collection as a whole
-The sensible sorting, adding, and removing of items from the collection based on their costs, benefits, and alignment with long-term strategies or goals.

In a nutshell, Portfolio Management can help zero in on the projects that are most worth their effort; project management can help execute those projects most efficiently.

These activities can be perfectly integrated with Phase F of TOGAF. Once the work packages, projects and building blocks inventory is created, the enterprise architecture team with the portfolio managers (and other important stakeholders) will examine each project and prioritize it according to established criteria. They will probably assign a business value; conduct a cost business analysis for each project (done in collaboration with business people); identify the risks to the projects.

The overall list of projects is then considered to develop a well-balanced list of supported projects and provide an input for a detailed implementation and migration plan. It will also help to confirm the Transition Architecture defined in the phase E. The use of an Architecture definition increments table is highly recommended to list these projects.

Some projects will be given high priority and extensive support, some will be given moderate priority, and still others will be placed on hold or dropped entirely from the list. This will also help to finalize the Architecture roadmap. Finally, resources will need to be identified and made available.

Other Governance domains may also be to be integrated in the PPM process and Phase F, such as Risk Management (e.g. RiskIT), Project Management (e.g. PMI, PRINCE 2), etc.

Companies who are mature in Portfolio Management activities may integrate their existing work practices easily with TOGAF. This would enforce the relationship between the Enterprise Architecture team and the PMO (or the PPM team).

(You can also refer to another post: Why do we not find yet links between Enterprise Architecture and Project Portfolio Management? )

11 years, 4 months ago

TOGAF 9 Migration Planning and Project Portfolio Management

Phase F in TOGAF helps to describe how to create a viable implementation and migration plan in co-operation with the portfolio and project managers. Very often companies already have in place a Project Portfolio Management framework and there may be a need to integrate your enterprise architecture with that.

As an example, PMI has introduced a standard for Portfolio Management, and portfolio managers have a resource to help them develop professionally and achieve success for themselves and their enterprise. Within an organization, a portfolio represents a collection of active programs, projects and other work undertaken at a specific point in time to help the organization achieve strategic objectives. In essence, a portfolio reflects the priorities, investments and resource allocations.

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) may be part of an enterprise governance framework. It is a management process designed to help the organization-:

-To ensure that the organization is doing the “right things”, optimally allocating scarce resources toward the enterprise’s objectives
-To acquire and view information about all projects
-To sort and prioritize each project according to certain criteria, such as strategic value, resource impact, cost, and so on.

PPM has several activities which are similar to the objectives of managing a financial portfolio:

-The identification of all the individual demands in the portfolio
-The development of a “big picture” view and a deeper understanding of the collection as a whole
-The sensible sorting, adding, and removing of items from the collection based on their costs, benefits, and alignment with long-term strategies or goals.

In a nutshell, Portfolio Management can help zero in on the projects that are most worth their effort; project management can help execute those projects most efficiently.

These activities can be perfectly integrated with Phase F of TOGAF. Once the work packages, projects and building blocks inventory is created, the enterprise architecture team with the portfolio managers (and other important stakeholders) will examine each project and prioritize it according to established criteria. They will probably assign a business value; conduct a cost business analysis for each project (done in collaboration with business people); identify the risks to the projects.

The overall list of projects is then considered to develop a well-balanced list of supported projects and provide an input for a detailed implementation and migration plan. It will also help to confirm the Transition Architecture defined in the phase E. The use of an Architecture definition increments table is highly recommended to list these projects.

Some projects will be given high priority and extensive support, some will be given moderate priority, and still others will be placed on hold or dropped entirely from the list. This will also help to finalize the Architecture roadmap. Finally, resources will need to be identified and made available.

Other Governance domains may also be to be integrated in the PPM process and Phase F, such as Risk Management (e.g. RiskIT), Project Management (e.g. PMI, PRINCE 2), etc.

Companies who are mature in Portfolio Management activities may integrate their existing work practices easily with TOGAF. This would enforce the relationship between the Enterprise Architecture team and the PMO (or the PPM team).

(You can also refer to another post: Why do we not find yet links between Enterprise Architecture and Project Portfolio Management? )