Knowledge Base

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WIKIPEDIA: Enterprise architecture is a well-defined practice for conducting enterprise analysis, design, planning, and implementation, using a holistic approach at all times, for the successful development and execution of strategy.

GARTNER: Enterprise architecture is the process of translating business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change by creating, communicating, and improving the key principles and models that describe the enterprise's future state and enable its evolution.

FORRESTER: Enterprise architecture consists of the vision, principles and standards that guide the purchase and deployment of technology within an enterprise.

THE OPEN GROUP: Enterprise architecture is a discipline that helps the enterprise define, develop and exploit the capabilities in order to achieve the enterprise’s strategic Intent. An ‘enterprise’ is any collection of organizations that has a common set of goals and/or a single bottom line.



    5 Reasons Why EA Initiatives Fail
Reasons Enterprise Architecture Initiatives Fail

According to recent reports, 66 percent of Enterprise Architecture initiatives fail. But why? In the last couple of years, there has been a lot of debate, expert opinions, and written contributions on the subject. Here's a list of reasons why many Enterprise Architecture initiatives fail.

1. Underestimating The Impact of Change
Resisting a change can easily kill any project. The leaders of the project - project managers, technicians, and all other people working on these projects must represent a positive force that will constantly promote the vision and the future state after the change. Company's employees will cooperate if the attitude of leaders of the initiative is positive. Addressing resistance problem's and helping them accept the change can bring many benefits to EA implementation and ensure better results. One of the key benefits a single enterprise architecture software tool will bring is quality impact analysis.

2. Trying To Do It For Peanuts
Companies want everything, but don't want to invest money and time. Many projects are completed with this strategy, but almost everytime they are late, over budget and missing many important features which affect the quality of business processes. Doing thing cheap can often cost the company more money in the long run. If the project is lacking resources it is likely that features will be missing, framework won't be tested properly and people will get burned in the process.

3. Poor Communication
Enterprise Architecture projects usually extend to a large number of people. This means that constant communication is required at all levels throughout the company. Strong communication can help a lot with the project. With a combination of meetings, emails, blogs, group meetings, bulletin boards and other mechanisms successful enterprise architecture implementation is guaranteed. How can an enterprise architecture software tool help? Use business friendly diagrams and models as a key communication tool. Pictures say a thousand words.

4. Lack of Sponsorship
Enterprise architects need the following tools to do a good job:

- leverage
- access
- goodies

Leverage means the authority to stop unsuitable technology implementations, partaking in governance, access to relevant reports and capability to influence the technology budget.

Access includes interaction with the stakeholders, usually at the C-level.

Goodies involve the access to new technologies for testing, ability to "lend" experts to struggling projects and access to exclusive information.

5. Hiring The Wrong Person
If someone holds the EA position, it doesn't automatically means that the person is a strong EA. Often the most technically competent people are hired, even when they are lacking other important skills. These skills involve the ability to translate technical documents into simple business strategy, knowledge about the business, the ability to communicate, listen and present enthusiasm for new technologies.

Besides the reasons on our list, there are many additional reasons why EA implementations fail. The potential success or failure is largely influenced by the company's culture, politics, and organization. Looking at successful EA implementations in the other companies is not always a reliable indicator whether your company initiative will succeed.
Knowing why initiatives fail is a good starting point to improving success rates of EA implementation. Here's a short success formula for enterprise architecture initiatives:

1. Build solid business case
2. Find a reliable top level sponsor
3. Create a Road Map
4. Present the Road Map
5. Encourage others to Follow the Road Map
6. Deliver results constantly
7. Add value
8. Lead

keywords: enterprise architecture, why enterprise architecture initiatives fail, enterprise architecture software

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