Thursday, November 28, 2013

Architectural Assessment Checklist

 Enterprise Architecture is not one dimensional, but multi-dimensional. 

EA is not one thing, but many things; EA is not one dimension, but multi-dimension, therefore, how to assess EA is perhaps tougher than what you think, but what is architectural assessment checklist?

EA assessment need to have clear purpose first, is it for evaluating EA, or EITA, if it's at logical or implementation level maturity, or is it for evaluating IT maturity (IT infrastructure, application, asset management., etc), or it's for setting up governance framework., etc. Either case, you may invite some customers outside EA team, and listen to different perspectives, at tactical level, KPIs may bring some insight, however, the issues are: many organizations may lack of the "right" set of KPIs in their IT or EA to bring the insight for objective assessment. Prepare Architectural assessment checklist based on the objective of the exercise
-Collect initial data through an automated process
-Then engage and interview stakeholders based on the checklist.

Beginning the end in mind: EA is about how to encompass organization from as-is state to future state, so beginning the end in mind is important; also assess things matter to improve business's unique capabilities, both from strategic and operational perspectives. Following the logic steps in EA assessment, and the checklist responses would be weighted and would give you an idea of the maturity
Step 1: Determine Intended Use of Architecture
Step 2: Determine Scope of Architecture
Step 3: Determine Data Required to Support Architecture Development
Step 4: Collect, Organize, Correlate, and Store Architectural Data
Step 5: Conduct Analyses in Support of Architecture Objectives
Step 6: Document Results in Accordance with Decision-Maker Needs  

Governance is the key throughout all aspects to help people know what success and 'right' looks like. Without an internal recognition and sanctioning of a particular architectural approach, there seems to be a great deal of philosophy and metaphysical IT-type debate. The systematic assessment can describe a method for assessment in terms of a set of building blocks
-show how the building blocks fit together
-contain a set of tools
-provide a common vocabulary
-include a list of recommended standards
-include a list of compliant products that can be used to implement the building blocks

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