Thoughts on CAEAP

Monday, June 22, 2009 |

I was honored to be invited to attend the kickoff meeting for the Center for Advancement of Enterprise Architecture Profession (or CAEAP for short). A lot of good ideas were discussed on how to harmonize the body of knowledge and training required for good enterprise architects. The problem is real - Enterprise Architecture programs have been one of the most consistent casualties of the current downturn, mainly as they are viewed as overhead and generally lack a standard way of communicating their value to the organization.

And yet, a highly functioning Enterprise Architecture capability is requisite for leveraging business process and technology assets in innovative ways to respond to internal and external pressures. Make no mistake, decisions on how to best utilize business processes and technology assets are made every day in every company. Most organizations simply cannot afford to wait months to gather the information to make a perfect decision. Without a formal knowledge management process and platform that ties all of the assets together, that discovery of information will always depend on few guru-level resources - not a very scalable approach - or will be relegated to the "we can't afford to wait or invest capital into discovery" paradigm.

Without Enterprise Architecture capabilities, that formal knowledge management process and platform cannot be created or sustainably operationalized. Without an advocacy body to harmonize the disparate threads and frameworks into a cohesive body of knowledge (a la PMBOK in Project Management), the cacophony of voices on how to best implement Enterprise Architecture capabilities can only degrade the value of EA message. This is why I believe that CAEAP's mission is crucial to Enterprise Architecture growth as a profession, and why I look forward to partnering with them to help them achieve their mission!


Topics we're thinking about

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 |

It's been somewhat quiet here the last couple of weeks, and not for the lack of ideas! As our thoughts about these ideas are getting more refined, here are some of the topics of interest for June:

- The limits of Project/Portfolio based approach to planning, budgeting, and delivery
- Creating and sustaining an Integration Capability Portfolio as a means of competitive advantage
- Resolving the (mostly) made up conflict between SOA and BPM - among others

Each one of these topics will receive a fairly detailed treatment - which for those of you who know us means that no stone will be left unturned!


So much confusion!

Friday, June 5, 2009 |

Lately there have been a lot of skirmishes between the various IT Advocacy Tribes - EA's, SOA Zealots, BPM Adherents, Data Minions, and such. The trouble is that everyone seems to think that their approach to solving the problems of IT is the "one true way in a dark and misguided world". So we get posts opining that SOA is dead, or BPM is too much change to be effective, or EA is too cloud-centric - and not in a good way. There has to be a happy medium between the various disciplines - after all, Nash proved that coopetition is far more efficient than competition a long time ago now. Perhaps we can check the sensationalism at the door and recognize that there may be smart people on the other side whose solutions are more appropriate in some perspectives of the overall problem.

This really hit home as I've been reviewing TOGAF version 9. A lot of good thought has gone into this release, but I can't help but think that they forayed into spaces that already have good problem definitions and appropriate solutions available. If The Open Group could have just focused on the Architecture Framework in version 9 without spending a lot of cycles on solving the Business Model, but rather formalizing the interface of their framework to accept the various solutions already in that space. Would that be Service Oriented thinking? Of course, that would imply that The Open Group understands encapsulation as a concept to be applied outside of technology!