Sunday, October 13, 2013

How to Measure EA Maturity?

A mature EA is not for its own sake, but in pursuit of organization maturity

Statistically, EA in majority of organizations got stuck at level 1: ad hoc; level two: defined or level three: measured, less than 5% of businesses reach the level five:optimized. As EA builds and grows maturity, how to define EA maturity and establish a valuable and consistent way to measure maturity and make comparison with other companies as well?

1. How to Define EA Maturity

EA maturity is the organizational, procedural, resourceful and technical capability of the company to undertake an EA work. There is a fairly common classification scheme for maturity models - as per CMMI - which takes one through stages of none, ad-hoc, defined, standardized, measured, optimized., etc. To interpret into a common set of questions for assessing EA, which include: Do you have the commitment of the CxOs for EA sponsorship? Do you have the technology and tool for EA design? Do you have the resources and budget for EA project? Do you have the skills for delivering the expected EA result?

The objectives of Measuring EA:
a) Understand where people see gaps in the current knowledge and practice of EA
b) Identify some topics where you can focus on these areas, rather than, perhaps, tread well trodden ground.
c) There are two areas where maturities considerations come into play - that of the enterprise and that of the architect. There should be a mix of the two approaches, measure maturity in terms of both business impact of EA and EA activities
d) Goal needs to be clear up front and the required capabilities should be assessed before mapping to the maturity model otherwise, it turns into a model driven EA, a self-promoting exercise.
e) Evaluate EA team maturity to identify skill gaps

The language of maturity is not for over-simplification or too much restriction to certain criteria: The organizations need an enterprise architecture capability that is matched to their needs. These needs, and the consequent nature of the ideal enterprise architecture capability, will almost certainly evolve over time, but the idea that it must always evolve in the same way. Therefore, some counter-point needs to be considered such as, what's ideal for one enterprise/organization is not necessarily ideal for another, and shall you expect that some generic maturity model defines what is ideal for all organizations? Even if it did, why should you expect that all organizations need an enterprise architecture capability that is the most mature by this model?

2. How to Measure EA Maturity 

a) In assessing business capacity, the initial approach, you can seek Executive assessment and broad consensus on the capacity rating of each business capability. This is reflected in a traffic light based presentation of a business capability heat map.

b) "Fit for purpose" assessment, enables the organization to ascertain whether they have adequate maturity or capacity to meet the demands of the chosen level. In the Program, Portfolio and Project Management space, there is a methodology for relating complexity of programs / portfolios / projects to the necessary PPPM maturity. So, that is an example where a discipline is using maturity in a way that takes account of fitness for purpose.

c) Assessing EA Maturity needs to be done in context. If organizations just pick a maturity model, this usually ends up being EA for EA's sake. Each tool is good for the purpose it was created and comes with its own set of support, tools, and diagnostic and remediation directions. 

d) One approach is to use the first level assessment as a qualification process for a more detailed assessment of those rated as red or amber. At that point, one needs to determine how well the business capabilities are understood and whether the enterprise has existing resources which could provide a more evidence based approach.

e) Another element of maturity would be the extent to which architectural considerations are used through the lifecycle of change Are they used for:
i) program development
ii) program and project development 
It's easy to identify one that has not worked well by looking at the success and stability of projects informed by its decisions on a historical basis

f) On a prospective basis, there should be some ability to match foreseeable decision-making needs with sufficient resources to respond to them. Maturity in this regard could be measured by the organization's ability to collect and assess the relevant information to provide a planning framework with the flexibility and timeliness required in support of the organization's strategic and tactical directions.

g) Maturity of the EA team: The maturity of EA team will depend on the collective cognizance/insight, collective capability/capacity and collective strength/kills

3.  EA Metrics & KPIs

 1) EA KPIs stay focus on measuring some cohesive business strategic goals:
-Business strategy-execution progress measurement
-Business culture Index, productivity
-Business Communication Effectiveness
-Business growth opportunity
-Cost Structure Optimization
-GRC Management

2) EA metrics to capture the new characteristics of digital business:
-ROA-Return on Agility
-ROI -Return on Innovation
-ROS-Return on Simplicity
-ROF -Return on Flexibility
-ROE -Return on Elasticity
-ROR -Return on Resilience
-ROC -Return on Customer Satisfaction

3) EA Measures to reflect tactical business value and EA deliverables:
 -Is Architecture right (freeze), the documentation complete and delivered on time
- Has the enterprise architect delivered against all projects (PM feedback)
- Demonstrable cost savings
- Risks identified and solved
- Time spent right
- Auditor report
- Customer and Peer 360 degree feedback
- Architecture Maturity Matrix

Maturity is indicated by the organization's commitment to executing, refining and evolving the process, overall the whole idea to measure EA maturity is based on strategic agility, process effectiveness and operational efficiency, always keep in mind, the measure to EA is not for its own sake, but for improving organizational maturity.

1 comments: provides consulting for technology and software product companies in the areas of product strategy, software development, process optimization, organizational maturit, crisis management, operations management, professional services and innovation TestDriveYourBusiness com also provides ongoing advisory role support. Please visit this site.
organizational maturity

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