Enterprise Architecture is really straightforward if you have a decent model to explain it. Without a decent model, everyone starts arguing. Back in 1989, the FEAF (Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework) defined a three-layer model, which was very simple. In 2006 OMB described the model even more clearly. Easy and simple - three layers.
EA experts talked about additional two important activities that should be added - processes and governance. Total of five simple activities. These five activities are now widely used to explain enterprise architecture to business owners and all other interested parties.
So let see what are the five simple activities needed to complete Enterprise Architecture effort. Enterprise level Architecture
The term enterprise refers to a whole company. This is all about keeping an inventory of all relevant aspects of the business that need to be transformed and updating this inventory according to plans. It also includes keeping a schedule, better known as a roadmap or transition plan for efforts to transform the enterprise. This activity supports the portfolio management initiatives including all transformational projects and programs in the enterprise. Segment level Architecture
A "Line of Business" can refer to a product line or line of services or something in between. A "Segment" is one of the large internal efforts used across a wide variety of lines. The segment architecture is related to customers, stakeholders, the logistics, the distribution, the value chain and the production line. These typically correspond to a certain "program", so Segment architecture usually involves "Program Management". More importantly, this activity should propose the business cases for the transformation and improvements to be financed and implemented in real programs and projects. Solution Level Architecture
The solution is usually defined as a system created to effect transformation positively. When it comes to the changing of the company or its line of business some things often must be centralized, decentralized, automated, constructed, moved or changed in some other way. The solution architecture explains how everything is changed, moved, built, updated, etc. Each of described things is a project and a system to be completed. Enterprise Architecture Governance
In order to make all these things to work, you must have a governing structure to connect architecture with actual implementation. Otherwise, there will be many loose ends. You need at least three levels:
- for approval of the business portfolio decisions
- for approval of the business cases to change the segments
- for approval of the changes in the solutions (systems)Enterprise Architecture Maturity Management
All things above are different processes. The company needs some way to manage, standardize and improve this type of internal architecture processes. They should be made more efficient over time in order to achieve desired results of the transformation. Conclusion
The Five Activities Model is one of the simplest ways to explain and understand the Enterprise Architecture
. It has many advantages and has a wide range of possible applications. How do you explain EA to other people? Share your experiences in the comments.
keywords: enterprise architecture, enterprise architecture activities, enterprise architecture modeling, ea modeling