The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is often described as a cure for all enterprise hardships, as a miracle for IT development, and the complete solution for reducing costs and simplifying infrastructures. This reminds us of a story behind the big headline "Cure for Cancer Found!" that was followed by an article about new research which does help some of the patients, but it will take a long time before becoming publicly available. When we take a closer look to TOGAF, it does seem like an answer everyone's been searching for, but still it needs a lot of work and dedication to be effective.
The point is - how can our initiative get corporate investors and important decision makers to get informed about TOGAF, get enthusiastic enough to invest and establish an EA program, but remain realistic and know the real value and benefits TOGAF provides? Is it possible to get support for EA without over-promising?
Currently, the support for EA and TOGAF is on the rise. The number of people looking for TOGAF certification is rising, as well as the presence of EA in the press. There are advertised jobs and billboards about TOGAF. So, let’s see the five common mistakes we make in promoting EA and how to correct them. 1. You Don't Speak Their Language
Too often enterprise architects get all passionate and explain everything they can do for a company in EA jargon that doesn't always makes sense to other persons. Think about the benefits you want to offer and describe them in the language of potential TOGAF investors. If you are speaking to the business manager, then architecture can help customers to easily communicate with the company. On the other hand, for a senior executive, TOGAF can help increase market share. 2. You Forget to Explain the Process
Explain the process of how you are going to transform the business. Tell your audience how many stages will take to see a significant change (it's not going to happen overnight and they have to know that). Tell them that every stage will be a step forward and that every stage brings value and benefits. And then show them those benefits.3. You Don't Use Metrics
Talking about the change is nice, but do you have a way to prove it? It's important to figure out how to measure the change you're making with TOGAF. If it is reducing costs, then measure costs. Some things are hard to measure, such as capabilities improvement. Work with employees that use the capabilities and find out how they measure them. The entire industry will benefit if you prove that your work really brings results.4. You Don't Listen
You want people to become supporters and believers in TOGAF and EA, not the other way around. That's why is important to listen to comments and address any unconstructive thoughts in the early stages of the project. Way to many EA projects attract bad publicism, and this can ultimately turn into the downfall of a TOGAF initiative. 5. You Don't Learn From the Past
Remember that you're not the first enthusiast that tried to make things better. That's why you need to know what happened before. Why did some projects fail? Are companies satisfied with the transformation process? The experiences from the past can help us avoid the future mistakes and focus on innovative ideas. Conclusion
If we fix these common mistakes, then the true benefits and values of TOGAF are guaranteed to be recognized and get the wider support that it deserves. Are you TOGAF supporter? Let us know in the comments.
keywords: TOGAF, Enterprise Architecture, TOGAF mistakes, Open Group