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Abstracts from the Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2016,
issue No. 4

Short Subject
Don’t Use the A Word!
By Alberto S. Llanes, PhD and Maynard Avery Austin III, Esq.

Enterprise architecture’s diversity is both its strength and weakness. We must unify as a community for both the sake of our chosen profession and the benefit of our stakeholders.

Different Approaches to Enterprise Architecture
By Svyatoslav Kotusev

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a description of an enterprise from an integrated business and IT perspective intended to bridge the communication gap between business and IT stakeholders and, thereby, improve business and IT alignment. Unfortunately, many companies are dissatisfied with popular heavyweight approaches to EA due to their excessive clumsiness and rigidity. At the same time, alternative lightweight and flexible approaches to EA have also been proposed; however, their existence is not widely acknowledged. In this article I briefly describe these alternative approaches to EA, compare them with the widely-known heavyweight approach, and illustrate their applications in real companies.

Theoretical Perspectives of Enterprise Architecture for Technological Transformation
By Torben Tambo

The purpose of this article is to investigate the completeness of the theoretical foundations of Enterprise Architecture (EA) by reviewing four selected disciplines from Management of Technology (MOT). Often theory on EA is based on prior EA contributions or more distant contributions such as service science, semiotics, psycho-social constructs, business process analytics, and systems science. It is here argued that other theories might be more supportive to EA. The current article is based on a review of the MOT literature and a subsequent literature review within each of the four specialized disciplines. Furthermore, the article includes two qualitative, longitudinal case studies mapped onto the four disciplines. It is demonstrated that EA can benefit from theoretical positions closer to EA than usually selected. It is furthermore demonstrated that innovation and technology management significantly overlap EA, for which reason they could eventually be amalgamated. A model view is proposed where activities of EA are augmented with the four theoretical positions. EA is occasionally self-referential in its theoretical argument. As a research implication, this article suggests aligning EA with closely-related activities of the enterprise. EA is often at risk in the enterprise to be retrospective towards changes. The suggested framework has practical implications in order to organize EA activities more collaboratively and cross-functionally; e.g., include marketing officers and librarians in EA teams. This article claims originality in its proposition to align EA with a multi-disciplinary approach derived from MOT.

From Enterprise Architect to Opportunity Architect: The Changing Role of Enterprise Architecture in a Digital Transformation Context
 
By Greet Bontinck, Prof. Dr. Bjorn Cumps, Prof. Dr. Stijn Viaene, Dr. Wesley Bille, and Joachim Vanden Brande

A digital transformation is felt in every fibre of the organization. In order to deal with the challenges that come with such a transformation initiative, one-off point solutions are not enough, but a more systemic, architecture-driven approach is needed. What does digital transformation mean for the enterprise architect? Through a multiple case study approach, this research aims to gain insights into the changing role of enterprise architects in a digital transformation context, as well as to identify the new challenges and opportunities arising in this regard. Today, enterprise architects are at a crossroads: the digital transformation projects in their organizations have rendered them more valuable. However, the key question is whether they will focus on enabling and support, or whether they will move one step beyond, leading the way, becoming true opportunity architects.

Short Subject
Architectural Roles in an “Agile Landscape”
By Phil Bowker, Jacques Colle, Kenneth van Rumste

Agile advocates that the role of an architect is part of the process, but only very few resources can be found which describe the role and the deliverables they should create in the projects in which they are contributing. The objective of this article is to provide insights in agile and architecture, describe the role of architects, position the architect in the agile landscape, and define its deliverables.

Book Review
Software Design Decoded: 66 Ways Experts Think
By Marian Petre & André van der Hoek, with Illustrations by Yen Quach
MIT Press, 2016, ISBN 978-0-262-03518-7

Seventy-nine Short Essays on Design
By Michael Bierut
Princeton Architectural Press, 2007, ISBN 978-1-56898-699-9

Reviewed by Leonard Fehskens

A Conceptual Framework for a Professional Code of Ethics for Enterprise Architects
By Leonard Fehskens

A professional code of ethics is generally considered to be an essential element of a professional ecosystem. This article summarizes the key conclusions and recommendations of the sociological literature on codes of ethics that are relevant to the development of such a code for the emerging profession of enterprise architecture, and their implications for such a code.

Abstracts from the Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2016,
issue No. 3

EA Survey Findings: The Challenges and Responses for Enterprise Architects in the Digital Age
By Sharm Manwani and Oliver Bossert

Enterprise architects face many challenges to be relevant to key stakeholders. The growth of digital business offers major opportunities for enterprise architects if these challenges can be addressed. The Enterprise Architecture (EA) Survey created by McKinsey & Company and Henley Business School explores EA outcomes and capabilities to assess the responses to the challenges. This article highlights key findings from the survey as a call to action for EA leaders.

Information Reference Architecture for the Portuguese Health Sector
 
By André Vasconcelos and Tiago Brás

The main goal of information architecture is to identify and define the main types of data that support an organization's business. Information architecture provides the description of the informational entities required for the pursuit of the organization’s business processes. The information architecture aims to identify key information to the business, define the data independently of applications or systems, and provide the basis for the management of corporate data. In a more general way the existence of an Information Reference Architecture (IRA) guiding and restricting the instantiations of a group of architectures and individual solutions is indispensable. In this article we propose a method to develop an IRA in order to ensure easy maintenance and semantic interoperability, through a bottom-up approach that uses a group of Information Systems (IS) in a specific business category. It is a four step, bottom-up method that starts with the mapping of the main IS of a business category, and with reverse engineering, model enhancements, and model integration techniques enables the creation of an IRA. This method is used for proposing the IRA for the Portuguese Health Sector, culminating in the development of an IRA for that sector. We used the Design Science Research Methodology (DSRM) to conduct our research. The method proposed in this work and the corresponding instantiation to the Portuguese Health Sector are assessed with evaluation metrics.

Enterprise Architecture Practice in Retail: Problems and Solutions
By Svyatoslav Kotusev, Mohini Singh, and Ian Storey

Currently Enterprise Architecture (EA) is widely practiced in different organizations working in diverse industries across the globe. Although it is generally acknowledged that there are no universal one-size-fits-all approaches to EA practice suitable to all organizations and industries, features and peculiarities of the approaches to EA followed in different industries are still poorly understood. In this article I analyze the EA practice in a large Australian retail chain operating in the fast-moving consumer goods business, discuss the industry-specific challenges with EA experienced by this company, and describe their potential solutions and mitigation strategies followed by the company.

Short Subject
Guiding Principles to Support Organization-Level Enterprise Architectures
By Aaron Trionfi

Enterprise Architecture (EA) practices have long served as the foundation for information technology solution development. Most EA methods and frameworks claim that these same practices can be applied to the development of an EA for an entire organization, but attempts to develop architecture on this scope routinely fail. The author contends that EA practices and frameworks must be extended to better implement organization-level architectures. An EA program should follow four principles when attempting to develop an organization-level architecture: a strong metamodel over a strong product catalog, business intelligence over modeling, integrated data capture over data calls, and data quality over data quantity.

Short Subject
Next Gen Architecture – IT Trends and the API Effect
By Michael Hinnebusch

On the subject of the digital economy, much is written about API management, also known as “API-ification”. Each Autumn, Gartner makes their annual predictions on IT trends impacting businesses for the upcoming year. Their theme in 2016 centered on an idea which it calls the “digital mesh”. This article brings together the concepts of digital mesh and APIs to highlight their important effects on business today. Organizations need to comprehend how they relate to their customers’ digital experiences. The article includes thought-provoking questions to challenge leaders to look toward the digital horizon and take action. Included is a discussion and a call to action. If followed, the result will provide a foundation for an organization’s digital operating model.

Addressing Enterprise Change Capability, a Constraint in Business Transformation
By Inji Wijegunaratne and Sharma Madiraju

Evidence shows that, more often than not, large IT programs do not succeed, exceeding their budgets, timelines, and delivering abbreviated scope and value. This article endeavors to observe and assess the problem from a capability perspective. We argue that though the solution or the future state is often focused upon and specified, the same level of attention is not devoted to the capabilities – both business and IT – required to bring about the organizational transition. Since the level and scale of transformational capabilities are very different from those needed to run a “business as usual” operation, this mismatch is at the heart of the problem. We then discuss a relatively inexpensive approach to remedy the issue.

Measuring the Quality of Enterprise Architecture Models
By Cameron Spence and Vaughan Michell

In this article we consider how to measure the quality of a set of Enterprise Architecture (EA) models. We review some relevant literature, focusing in particular on conceptual model quality, and adapt a conceptual model for use specifically with sets of EA models. We develop three objective metrics for this purpose, and also consider the conditions necessary for these metrics to converge towards increasing model quality. We conclude with a partial case study where two of these metrics were used in practice that demonstrates how they can be used.

Abstracts from the Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2016,
issue No. 2 Special Issue: The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture

The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture – An Open Standard for IT Management in the Digital Business Era
By Charles Betz and Keith Jahn

The IT4IT Reference Architecture, a standard of The Open Group,1 is a new Reference Architecture for managing the “business of IT”. It provides prescriptive, holistic guidance for the implementation of IT management capabilities for today’s digital enterprise. The IT4IT standard introduces a formal IT operating model based on the concept of a value chain, and describes a functional systems and data architecture encompassing four major IT value streams: Strategy to Portfolio, Requirement to Deploy, Request to Fulfill, and Detect to Correct. The standard is positioned as a peer to comparable reference architectures such as NRF/ARTS, TM Forum Frameworx™ (aka eTOM™), ACORD™, BIAN™, and other such guidance. The IT4IT Forum, a Forum of The Open Group, was officially launched in Fall 2014, and currently has representation from dozens of companies including Accenture, Achmea, CapGemini, ExxonMobil, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Microsoft, MunichRe, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, ServiceNow, and Shell.

Interview
Lars Rossen
Interviewed by Michael Fulton

Two key players in the development of the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture, a standard of The Open Group talk about its genesis.

The IT4IT™ Standard and Digital Transformation: Why we all Work for a Software Company, and putting The Open Group IT4IT Initiative into Context
By Richard Moore

Dramatic changes in the IT landscape have created a vacuum in IT Governance. The IT4IT Reference Architecture, a standard of The Open Group, is a promising response to the challenges of Digital Transformation, and continues to build on the hard work done with ITIL® and COBIT® . This article sets the background for the IT4IT story.

Why the IT4IT™ Standard is Good News for Architects
By Dan Warfield

The IT4IT Reference Architecture, a standard of The Open Group, released last October, is a "standard Reference Architecture and value chain-based operating model for managing the business of IT". The IT4IT standard focuses on the entire range of functions, data, and tools needed to manage the business of IT, including IT Asset Management (ITAM) and IT Operations Management (ITOM) tools. Tool vendors are already moving to support the specification, and it's well positioned to become a prescriptive standard for a key set of IT operations functions, APIs, and information flows. The IT4IT standard offers a data model, API specification, and functional map for automating a layer of disconnected activities and software within and beyond ITAM and ITOM. Eventually, it could replace today's proprietary data models, gnarly integrations, and manual processes. The author believes that the IT4IT standard is a breakthrough for enterprise architects because it provides business-focused semantics that resonate with mainstream managers in a way that more complex models of IT processes (COBIT® , ITIL® , APQC™, etc.) do not, while at the same time being mappable to these “heavier” standards. The IT4IT standard is particularly powerful as a starting point for transformation to deploying a digital service broker delivery model, and as the starter kit for a consistent end-to-end information model for the entire IT Value Chain.

The IT4IT™ Standard as a Model for Managing the Cloud Service Lifecycle
By Louise Ng

Traditional cloud reference architectures can guide enterprises as they set up cloud infrastructure, but they don’t provide a framework for managing the entire cloud service lifecycle end-to-end. However, using the IT4IT Reference Architecture, a standard of The Open Group, enterprises are able to build and manage hybrid clouds, thus achieving the agility and efficiency necessary for digital transformation.

The IT4IT™ Standard – As a Technologist Why Should I Care and How Can the Mainframe Help Advance my Career?
By David Morlitz

Just as cloud is a disruptive force in technology platforms, the IT4IT Reference Architecture, a standard of The Open Group, is a disruption of existing operating models. One of the primary value propositions of the IT4IT standard to business is increased cost transparency and IT efficiency. The inherent properties of a mainframe provide business with the most transparent access to usage information in a highly scalable and efficient environment. Using mainframe data to prove the business value of the environment sets the gold standard for financial transparency in an enterprise.

What does the IT4IT™ Standard Mean for the Indian IT Services Industry?
By Anuj Shahi

The Indian IT industry has travelled a long way since its beginning in the late 1970s. Universities have supported rapid growth by having the right courses to support the needed skills. Most solutions have been created and readily available in a standard way. Now is the time to focus on high-end services of alignment between Business and IT. For that, the experienced workforce will have to address Conceptual and Logical needs. The IT4IT Reference Architecture and TOGAF® , standards of The Open Group, are helping in this domain.

Panel Discussion
How the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture Acts as a Digital Business Enabler
Dana Gardner, Chris Davis, Lars Rossen, Ryan Schmierer, David Wright

This is a transcript of a discussion on the value and direction of the IT4IT Reference Architecture, a standard of The Open Group, for managing IT as a business.

Panel Discussion
How the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture Helps Turn IT into a Transformational Service for Digital Business Innovation
Dana Gardner, Michael Fulton, Philippe Geneste, Sue Desiderio, Dwight David, Rob Akershoek

A transcript of a discussion on the business benefits of transforming IT organizations into agents of change for businesses from The Open Group San Francisco event in January 2016.

The IT4IT™ Standard – Some Personal Reflections
By Charles Betz

The new IT4IT Reference Architecture, a standard of The Open Group, is described in terms of the industry factors giving rise to it, the role of The Open Group, and by answering some frequent critiques. A discussion of the standard’s relationship to Agile methods is also provided.

Abstracts from the Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2016,
issue No. 1

How about Strategy? – A Survey into the Pitfalls of Strategic Alignment
By Melissa Roelfsema, Adina Aldea, Marc Lankhorst and Henry Franken

The prospects are grim for organizations that manage organizational change through a new strategy. In the Strategic Alignment survey, conducted in the second quarter of 2014, 177 managers, consultants, architects, IT specialists and others were asked about the strategic alignment efforts and experiences of their organization. This article presents findings concerning several aspects of the strategy process. Results from the Strategic Alignment survey suggest that organizations still experience significant difficulties during development and implementation of their strategies. Especially, ineffective communication and insufficient organizational capabilities are pitfalls that prevent organizations from reaching strategic alignment.

Inter-Enterprise Architecture
By 
Yan Zhao, Ph.D

This paper introduces the notion of Inter-Enterprise Architecture (IEA) in response to the current evolution of the business environment and landscape associated with the adoption of common shared services, cloud computing, and social networking. The IEA describes the context, business environment, collaboration channels, partnership opportunities, influential components and relationships across enterprises and business organizations in a selected business domain or service domain for a targeted enterprise or business organization. The IEA enables an enterprise or business organization to understand its position in today’s networked business world. Due to the open and dynamic nature of service adoption and collaboration, and the autonomy of current enterprise structure, culture, and operating environments, it is necessary to explore how a business should be architected across boundaries to effectively respond to the common service and collaboration environment. It is becoming more important for a business to be agile and able to incorporate collaboration elements across organization boundaries. If enterprise architecture is like a city plan, the IEA is more like a plan for a metropolitan area.

Enterprise Architecture Manifesto: Defining Guiding Principles
By Matt Fishbeck

This paper proposes the idea of an Enterprise Architecture Manifesto that consists of ten principles that apply across the context of enterprise architecture, business architecture, business analysis and the wider domain of business transformation. These principles take the format defined within the TOGAF 9 Specification and are written in short form to lean out any unnecessary words, examples, or intended applications and are purely generic in definition. No references have been included because there is no information that has been obtained from other sources; this proposal is a synthesis of experience derived from 20 years’ experience within the software engineering, technology, and now business analysis and enterprise/business architecture disciplines.

The History of Enterprise Architecture: An Evidence-Based Review
By 
Svyatoslav Kotusev

The conventional wisdom says that the concept of enterprise architecture (EA) originated from the pioneering work of John Zachman. He is frequently referred to as the “father” of EA and many consider the Zachman Framework to be the breakthrough that created the discipline of EA and provided the foundation for all subsequent EA frameworks and methodologies. Is Zachman’s “A Framework for Information Systems Architecture” really the seminal publication of the EA discipline? Is it really the first EA framework? Did it really profoundly influence modern EA methodologies? In order to answer these questions, in this article I describe an evidence-based history of EA and trace the origins of all essential ideas constituting the basis of the modern concept of EA.

Abstracts from the Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2015

Abstracts from the Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2014,
issue No. 1


Integrated Modeling of Business Architecture and Process Design with BPMN: Application to Hospitals
By Oscar Barros and Alejandro Quezada

A Business Architecture (BA) comprises different models at different levels of abstraction. At the higher levels, the business goals and architecture are defined. At the lower levels, models become more detailed for implementing the supporting information system. So, an integrated modeling approach is key for designing such architecture. The different models must preserve the alignment to the business goals between the different levels. Since existing design approaches, e.g. Model Driven Architecture (MDA), use Unified Modeling Language (UML) for modeling, the design of the architecture becomes complex and time consuming. In this paper, we present an integrated design approach for designing the Business Process Architecture that uses a generic architecture and patterns, expressed in Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN). The approach facilitates the modeling between the different levels. This has been applied in real cases in hospitals and other domains, demonstrating its feasibility and usability, reducing complexity and time for modeling. We also discuss the limitations and future work.

An Enterprise Architecture Approach to Establishing ISCMP
By Shirley Zhao

Establishing an Information System Continuous Monitoring (ISCM) Program (ISCMP) is a complex effort that touches many business lines within a large enterprise. In search of a systemic approach to breaking down this complex effort, this paper explores how an enterprise architecture framework and its method, The Open Group Architectural Framework (TOGAF) Architecture Development Method (ADM), can be leveraged to establish an ISCMP for large enterprises. It examines enterprise ISCM program elements and illustrates how these elements can be potentially addressed throughout a series of phases adapted from the TOGAF ADM method.

The author intends to bring out the enterprise perspectives and relationships around an ISCM program, hoping to evoke interest from researchers and practitioners in developing more solid and tangible steps. Such work should benefit a realistic adoption of ISCMP.

Chief Enterprise Architect as Transformational and Transactional Leader
By Dr. Gerald R. Gray

Probably as much or more than any other role in the enterprise, the Chief Enterprise Architect role requires the use of influence. Influence with peer leaders, influence among teams that do not report to the enterprise architecture function, and influence with the upper levels of organizational management as architecture is developed to meet business capability needs. This level of influence requires the Chief Enterprise Architect to have superior leadership skills. There are two archetypes of leadership: transactional and transformational. Leadership literature often suggests that one archetype is better than another. This paper suggests that there are times when the Chief Enterprise Architect will need to employ both archetypes. Some well established leadership frameworks that use these archetypes will be examined and synergized into a holistic leadership model which the Chief Enterprise Architect can apply to their leadership activities.

The Architect as a Salesman within the Enterprise
By Arvin Levine, Ph.D.

The job requirements for the enterprise architect are easily stated:  to analyze, organize and synthesize technical, organizational and process information in order to plan and guide development, adoption and operations over a long arc of time. The architect must be able, not only to understand a (technical) concept, but also to convey that understanding to the people who will decide and execute on it. An important metaphor for the architect function is as a salesman – for ideas! A good salesman takes a long-view of his customer’s (possibly unspoken) needs and becomes a partner in the realization. When an architect behaves like a salesman (in the best sense of the term), he can have deep impact and successfully introduce and “sell” concepts to an organization. In order to be successful, the architect must consider himself or herself as a salesman for the concepts and understanding that they have developed. Four steps to follow in the salesman’s approach are spelled out and illustrated in this paper. Being a salesman is not necessarily the ungentlemanly occupation eschewed by our profession. We should embrace, not shun it!

Rediscovering EA via Consensus Standards
By Thomas Mowbray, Glenn Donaldson, Brian Keller, Chad Neal, and Vasu Rachakonda

A key goal of enterprise architecture (EA) entails maturing organizations from making locally optimal decisions to making globally optimal decisions. Rather than gathering EA information to create enterprise views, an alternative approach is to gather internal experts to directly participate in global decision-making. With sufficient critical mass of expertise, the necessary enterprise knowledge will be present, as well as, the ability to negotiate consensus standards that will be implemented, because the implementers participate in the standards decisions and own the outcomes.

Journal of Enterprise Architecture Readership Survey Results – Part 2
By Leonard Fehskens

The Journal of Enterprise Architecture (JEA) conducted a survey of its readership during the Autumn of 2013. The results of the survey were uniformly positive – overall, survey participants find the JEA interesting, readable, useful and providing them with value they do not find elsewhere. This article summarizes the results of the demographic questions and the open ended comments.

Book Review
How Designers Think: The Design Process Demystified by Bryan Lawson
Reviewed by Leonard Fehskens

Abstracts from the Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2013,
issue No. 4 

 

A Blueprint for Professionalization of Enterprise Architecture
By Jason Uppal

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a relatively new profession compared to others such as project management, engineering, law and medicine. Over the last two decades, interest in EA has been steadily growing for various reasons and at the same time debate among practitioners has also been growing as what is the scope of EA, how do we measure its performance and how do we validate the value of our services and so on.   I believe it is time to ask ourselves about the evolution of the profession: 1) should we allow the profession to evolve naturally or 2) should we apply well-known design methods and let its evolution be guided by sound principles? 

The purpose of this article is to propose a straw-man model for making EA a profession and initiate discussions with a wider community that will lead to a comprehensive roadmap for doing so.

Architecture Expeditions: a Difference That Makes a Difference
By Leo Laverdure and Alex Conn, Ph.D.

Training of architects improves their architectural knowledge and skills. We know this because we test it. What we don't test is the impact this training has on the organization. Has its architectural capability improved? Has business performance improved?

Too often, the ideas learned in training simply fail to take root: individuals learn but nothing really changes. Why? Because organizations resist change.

To overcome this resistance, we must engage the organization in the change effort. In particular, how do you sign up senior management? They are looking for measurable improvements to the business and will want to see evidence. Who has done this before? What results did they get? How did they make it work? What can we learn from them? Can we make it work here?

An "architecture expedition" is a potentially valuable approach that addresses these concerns. An expedition is a topic-specific, action-focused program, lasting several months, designed to help front-line teams make rapid improvements in key performance metrics. Unlike our current, out-of-context model of training, in expeditions architects learn as they measurably improve the organization's architecture capability—and, most importantly, business results.

Expeditions have an important educational component. But rather than having instructors and learners, everyone learns from everyone. And the instructor role changes from source of knowledge (a "sage on the stage”) to expedition leader (a "guide on the side”) who coaches the participants in achieving the desired improvements.

The PRISM Architecture Framework – was it the very first Enterprise Architecture Framework?
By Roberto Rivera

This article introduces a little known architecture framework and development method called the PRISM Architecture Framework.  This framework was published to a very limited research sponsor audience in 1986.  The objective of this article is to bring this milestone achievement into the public light, as it not only is likely to be the very first enterprise architecture framework, but the results of the PRISM team research has had a far reaching influence in how we do architecture work today – and we didn’t even know it.

The Dutch State of the Practice of Architecture Principles
By Danny Greefhorst, Henderik Proper, Georgios Plataniotis

Architecture principles are the cornerstones of Enterprise Architecture and guide enterprises in their transformations. The Architecture Principles working group of the Dutch Architecture Forum (NAF) wanted to gain more insight into the current practice of architecture principles. To do this, the working group has performed a survey amongst practitioners. The survey results show how practitioners actually specify architecture principles, how they value them and what other areas of applications they see for principles. This article provides an overview of the most interesting results of the survey. In addition, it provides insights gained from a workshop that was organized in which the survey results were presented.

Book Review
fit: an architect’s manifesto By Robert Geddes
Reviewed by Len Fehskens

The applicability of ideas from conventional architecture to the enterprise is a recurring theme in discussions about enterprise architecture. Too often though, such discussions provide few insights because most enterprise architects know so little about what "real” architecture is about.

This stylish little book may be the answer to this problem.

Book Review
Beyond Alignment: Applying Systems Thinking in Architecting Enterprises
Reviewed By Richard Veryard

One of the most popular memes in Enterprise Architecture is the notion of Alignment – for example the "alignment" between business and technology.  But what is this "alignment”, and why should we care about it?

There have been many initiatives recently to explore possible interworking between Enterprise Architecture and Systems Thinking, and I have been involved in some of these initiatives myself.  So I was delighted to be invited to review this collection of papers.

The contributors represent a range of different schools of Systems Thinking, including System Dynamics, Soft Systems Methodology and Cybernetics, with several contributors featuring the Viable Systems Model developed by Stafford Beer.

Abstracts from the Journal of Enterprise Architecture 2013,
issue No. 3

EAST Meeting Report
By Richard Veryard

There is a growing interest among Enterprise Architects in Systems Thinking. There are several possible reasons for this interest: 

1. The idea that Systems Thinking provides some theoretical underpinning for Enterprise Architecture and/or systems architecture.
2. 
The idea that Systems Thinking is somehow complementary to Enterprise Architecture, and that there is some kind of synergy available from putting together concepts, techniques, and practices from the two disciplines.
3. The 
idea that Systems Thinking and Enterprise Architecture are essentially doing the same things (modeling, abstraction, joined-up thinking, big picture, enterprise-as-system, etc., etc.).
4. 
The idea that Systems Thinking and Enterprise Architecture are rivals for our affections, and their respective champions are trying to show that one is more conceptually coherent, more broadly based, more solidly grounded, and even perhaps more useful, than the other.

A
Plain English Introduction to Enterprise Architecture
By Peter Murchland

One of the prime barriers to effective engagement with enterprise stakeholders is the use of language that they do not understand. This article seeks to convey the answers to questions in relation to the why, what, and how of Enterprise Architecture (EA) in plain business language.

Producing Enterprise Architecture Content that Counts
By Sally Bean

This article provides practical advice on how to make Enterprise Architecture (EA) content more relevant and actionable for organizations. It explains how, before deciding what content to produce, EA teams must create a clear picture of the purpose of EA and its contribution to activities, decision-making, and objectives. It then describes different types of EA content and all the different aspects of managing it to ensure it remains accessible, current, consistent, and relevant. A simple three-way classification scheme is presented that helps to clarify whether EA artifacts represent prescriptive designs, descriptive knowledge, or programmatic plans, and hence how those artifacts should be presented and communicated for maximum impact. The article then discusses the human and social aspects that must be considered to ensure that value is actually realized. Finally, it outlines the importance of tools and frameworks in maintaining structure and consistency of content.

Using the Component Factory Business Model to Deliver Technology Re-use
By Jeff Scott

Re-use of code, services, and other technology components promises the Holy Grail of low cost, high quality, quickly delivered, and easily adaptable systems. However, after more than a decade of theories, models, frameworks, and technologies, most IT organizations continue to be frustrated in their attempts to attain even a moderate amount of re-use.

The Component Factory Business Model represents a proven, business-driven approach to implementing a re-use program that motivates project teams to re-use existing components and contribute to building new ones without the need for senior management mandates, complicated governance structures, significant up-front investments, or complex software. It does this by helping teams focus on business value and buyer motivations instead of governance-driven compliance. This case study describes the successful implementation of a technology re-use program using the Component Factory Business Model.

Enterprise Architecture: A Courageous Venture
By Chris Potts

How does Enterprise Architecture differ from other forms of architecture? If, "architecture is architecture is architecture”* does the medium make any difference? In other words, is designing an enterprise essentially the same as designing a building, a ship, or a landscape? This article explores the most significant challenge facing the people who design enterprises, that makes it different from designing physical entities such as buildings. That challenge is founded on the fact that an enterprise is a human endeavor, and enterprise is a facet of the human spirit. An enterprise can, and does, constantly redesign itself. Enterprise Architects** must have the capabilities, and often the courage, to steer this "self- architecture” from within. Whether they are permanent employees or external consultants, they are integral to the structure they are there to design. This article explores the core capabilities that Enterprise Architects need in order to succeed.

Core Knowledge for Enterprise Architecture
By Eskil Swende

Core Knowledge for EA is a concept focusing on the most important artifacts to create a robust Enterprise Architecture (EA). The approach is based on the EA definition: "The Enterprise Architecture ensures that the enterprise as a whole is always fit-for-purpose for achieving its vision, mission, and strategies”.

That means it must reflect all known changes to the current vision, mission, and strategies, but also be fit-for-purpose to meet yet unknown changes. Therefore, the architecture must be based on the business itself and on a stable foundation that does not change when the organization or strategies change. The most stable artifact is the information resource itself, when it is properly defined and the structure is based on a normalized model of the data and information. A normalized meta-model shows how the information resource relates to the business processes and the business innovation canvas.

The goal of EA is to restructure the enterprise to become more efficient, robust, and integrated. The approach is based on experience since 1984 of creating over 100 business architectures and ongoing contacts with global EA experts learning from and being inspired by them. We strive for a shared understanding of the knowledge developed by the global experts trying to achieve a coherent EA strategy based on a Core Knowledge for EA.

Dotting the Joins: The Adverse Effects of Specialization
By Tom Graves

Specialization is often seen as the natural way to deal with the demands of real-world practice and real-world complexity: we’ll often choose specific "subject areas” to specialize in from school days onwards. Yet that choice is not without its consequences; for example, we’ll often hear about the need to "join the dots” between the different domains and disciplines and other specialisms. This article explores some of the adverse effects of specialization, and what we can do to mitigate them within our Enterprise Architectures (EAs).

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