Saturday, October 26, 2013

Three Aspects of Enterprise Architecture Governance

EA governance is a coherent set of rules defined up-front, if possible all decisions are taken by the consensus otherwise it is a choice of the chief architect. But what’re the correlations of Enterprise Governance, EA Governance and IT Governance, and how to achieve high performing business results based on high mature governance?

1. Differentiation of the various "types" of governance

* Enterprise Architecture governance deals with how the architecture is developed, managed, shared, monitored, verified, updated, version management, checked for standards compliance, etc. - so governing the EA has nothing to do with governance components in the EA, such as business rules, legal requirements or IT management governance.

* Governance as components of the EA, includes business rules, legal requirements (such as data protection), operational requirements rules, financial compliance - so governance in this instance is items that influence the architecture relationships or other components options.

* IT governance is mostly associated with controlling and managing IT in an enterprise - so specific rules that apply to how IT is deployed, serviced, sourced, implemented, etc. It would direct and guide information technology decisions (selection of technologies, use or reuse of functionality, models and frameworks for analysis and decision making within IT, etc)

2. EA, EA Governance & Business Steering Instruments 

The most common specific area of EA is that EA is about the interlinking pin between all other (sub) architectures. So it's about the interrelation of all objects which are part of all (other) sub-architectures. So a value chain is made up of one or more parts of business processes, a business process uses several information sources, these information sources are available through one or more applications, which on their turn runs on one or more servers, which are finally hooked on a network.

Enterprise Architecture Governance (EAG) is a discipline that teaches how an Enterprise ensures or enforces its accepted Enterprise Architecture. The same relations are between EAG and EA Frameworks. EAGF is mostly about the organization of the Enterprise Architectural Transformation Process and underlying Business Process Development Life Cycle (BSDLC), former SDLC

To actually facilitate change or movement in a company, you need a business steering instrument. A lot of business steering instruments exist, like the Balanced Score Card, These business steering instruments have all a specific area in which they operate, like quality, policy development, policy implementation, management control. What we actually need is a business steering instrument which starts from the top of an organization (mission, vision, goals and strategy) and handles every new business problem from all the relevant perspectives (so not only IT, but also Finance, HR, Operations, etc,,,). Actually it bridges the business steering instruments to the architectural frameworks/models. General Enterprise Architecture is the only business steering instrument which is developed from the architectural school. It gives you a holistic view (business steering) a business problem seen form every relevant perspective and every perspective has a whole world behind itself to be described (architecture).  

3. ‘Double Inheritance’ in Governance 

A real enterprise-architecture is a top-down view of the whole enterprise. And IT is interwoven with most parts of business in most large present-day enterprises, but it is only one aspect amongst many, and it should most certainly _not_ be the primary driver for enterprise governance. As EAs claimed, "an enterprise has an architecture even if it doesn't have electricity": enterprise-architecture governance needs first to reflect that fact.

A closer approach is to recognize a double-inheritance. But true, holistic business driven EA will just incorporate business and IT governance as components.
1) EA governance devolves from enterprise governance
2) EA defines architecture principles for the whole enterprise
3) IT governance also devolves from enterprise governance
4) IT architecture governance is an intersection of IT governance and enterprise-wide architecture principles
5) IT architecture governance includes service-architecture, solution-architecture and technology-optimization architecture

IT Governance vs. Enterprise Governance: If IT leaders take a relaxed approach to other elements of governance, like demonstrating that value was realized, or driving for a rigorous and consistently developed business case for IT investments, then they will have no tolerance for a governance model of architectural decisions that is considerably more rigorous and demanding. On a maturity model, if overall IT governance is at a level 1, then the governance of architectural decisions cannot sustainably exceed maturity level 2. The rest of the organization will literally unravel any achievements that are too far advanced for their ability to manage decisions.


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