We arranged another great NEA Öresund meeting at Foo Café, this time as a moderated panel debate between three very experienced Enterprise Architects collaborating with the audience to seek the answer to the questions of where to start, how to get started, and how to gain traction on a new Enterprise Architecture initiative.
For more information about the meeting and people involved:
- EA must support the business to be successful (no ivory towers!)
- The enterprise delayering means that architects need to be useful and involved a lot, more communication is better!
- If there is a lot of “grey IT”, it’s likely because the return on architecture is either not communicated well enough or isn’t that good. Get into the details, understand why, go look! Is the decision-making taking EA into account, or the relevant principles for the EA at least?
- The role and the value of each co-worker is less and less determined by their place in the hierarchy, and more and more determined in how well they can leverage information for the benefit of the enterprise. The spherical organisation is replacing the hierachical one. (Got me thinking about Teal for Teal)
- To get started with EA, find a customer with a problem big enough to solve and enough money to get it solved.
- There are many frameworks available to help categorize and document the EA findings. The most important role of the frameworks is to organize EA in a form that can outlive the current members of the organisation, to allow collaboration across enterprises and to help communicate with common terminology.
To communicate EA, the best way to start is to identify philosophies and principles which resonate well with the organization and help make choices. They should add contrast where necessary. Good principles are helpful.
- An example of a simple principle is the principle of not duplicating data, the reason for it is that when data is in multiple places, it’s hard to know which is the master and it creates a lot of extra work.
To understand how good the organisation is, enterprise debt can be used as a metaphor. Do we know how much of debt, decisions with consequences in the future, we have taken on. Do we know what we need to do to mortgage it and what the interest we are paying on it is? These are the frictions in the organisation and things left unsolved because of urgencies and bad solutions.
- This also creates input to decision-making, as it introduces a straightforward way of talking about what the consequences are from a decision and what they mean over time.
Lots of good insights today. For coming NEA Öresund meetings, there were some proposed themes such as “Bi-modal IT” and “Creating trust as architects through storytelling and communication”.