Interesting Discussions on LinkedIn (EA Network Group)

Friday, June 4, 2010 |

Yes, you need a LinkedIn Account.  And yes, you have to be a member of Enterprise Architecture Network.  But those two prerequisites are not very difficult to obtain.  Meanwhile, there are a couple of very interesting discussions going on - interesting enough for me to comment:

"How Can We Effectively Measure Enterprise Architecture?" started by Wayne Kurtz

My take:
...the set of possible measurements for EA is very large. This is partially because EA is glue - whether between strategy/execution, or business/IT, or IT/IT, or whatever pairing thought leaders in this group may conjure up next. And partially, it's because there are two very different questions: 
1. "I'm mostly looking for how we measure the effectiveness of EA as a discipline." 
2. "How do EA practitioners, and their clients/constituents, know if an EA effort is succeeding or not. "
The metrics required to answer these questions are very different, so I'll tackle them in order. 
First, is there such a thing as EA discipline? I'm aware of many EA disciplines. As Phil Allega of Gartner recently quipped on Twitter, "Low barriers to entry="roll" a framework from others or from scratch." Even approaches that mascarade as standards (e.g. TOGAF ADM) require so much customization for relevance that each organization will end up with it's own TOGAF-based EA (if successful, that is.) So the only metrics that wind up making sense here are how "LEAN" is your EA without losing effectiveness - e.g. the cost effectiveness of organization's EA Capability Portfolio. These range from Advocacy Curve measurements (how many people are actually doing what your EA is influencing them to do, and how well) to regular old operational and HR metrics for the EA team as a unit. 
Second question can be just as complex in practice. In our Capability Based Business Architecture seminar, we call it the Eye of the Stakeholder. EA is an enabling function - hence, success criteria for successful EA organizations are improvements in KPIs for their stakeholders. Complexity is inherent in negotiating how to please many masters, and quantifying their contentment quotient in hard currency.


In what ways do you partition your architecture, and why? started by Tom Graves

My take:
As (I think) you've seen parts of this approach already, we partition an organization's architecture in the following way: 
Capability Portfolios contain 
Capabilities that contain 
Services, Processes supported by 
Technology partitioned into 
Client Side, Presentation, Business Logic, Integration, and Data Tiers arranged by 
Internal/Secured/External Network zones containing 
Business Applications, Infrastructure Applications, Platform, and Network layers 
Several classification types possible in each layer, so classification framework is unique to each organization.  It's what most people refer to as "customizing" an EA framework of your choice (TOGAF, Zachman, DoDAF all are equally fit for this purpose).  Pertinent components at each layer of the cake are used to assemble solutions that adjust to business strategy changes.  Effectiveness of said solutions to adjustments is measured by KPIs.  At least that's my vision of how organization value can be attributed to EA.