Saturday, May 25, 2013

EA as Change Agent

EA (Enterprise Architect) is responsible for defining, implementing and refining the overall architecture on a continuous basis, from current state to target state, from gap analysis to change management, which phase of EA (Enterprise Architecture) is more time consuming or should invest more time?
The answer is perhaps situation driven, It depends on the position in which the organization is at business life cycle and the level of EA maturity. Mature enterprise architectures would spend more time on Change Management.

  1. EA should be the tool for CHANGE, though it means a lot: the communication tool, the process optimization tool, the governance tool, the knowledge sharing tool. While Enterprise Architecture does and should include the "whole" enterprise, the "as is" models need only to be appropriately scoped to determine starting state, measure magnitude of desired change, and enable/validate the road maps. However, the most observed, planned and developed in the change management is called change inspiration. The more people on board, informed and even inspired about the change, the smoother change can occur with great effectiveness and efficiency.  
  1. The most important task of EA (EA as a management function, not as a set of artifacts) is to enable and make the most of organizational change. EA has a unique position to provide innovation to the enterprise, because it comprehends process change as well as emerging technologies. This combination allows EA to both reduce the risk, and improve the reward, of all scales of organizational change (for example, whether a fairly straightforward process improvement effort, or large scale transformation). All of the other aspects of EA (communication, analysis, technical rigor, business alignment, etc.) are necessary to achieve this most important task. 
  1. Change management is Focal Point. The time and effort devoted to communicating in creating, refining and delivering EA artifacts has always been time consuming. Doing EA at higher levels of abstraction, the effort on current vs. future is very dependent on the particular enterprise and the degree of stability in their business model / business strategy. For most of organizations, Change Management needs to be a focal point, as it is where the true value is derived. In essence, EA is also about the roadmap or GPS for business to implement a good strategy, which includes a few key steps such as: Problem Diagnosis (current state), set up policy/guideline (gap/impact analysis to define where & how), cohesive actions (Change Management), and Future state.  
  1. EA is Chief Designer for Change: The greatest need that calls out for EA is that of Enterprise transformation. The ability to change organizations so that they better fit and serve their context. The process of how organizations change draws on many disciplines from psychology and behavioral science to engineering and systems thinking. The underlying principle is that change does not happen in isolation. It impacts the whole organization and each individual associated with it. 
  1. The Ultimate Goal for EA is to make the enterprise more agile and responsive to changes. Some EA think Current state is most time consuming, as most enterprises (particularly those large ones) embarking on building an EA face the daunting task of identifying, discovering and cataloging the current systems estate. This can be really challenging if you have business functionality duplicated across multiple systems. Doing this at an agile environment; each of these states would be included in iteration. The initial as-is does not have to be "excruciating”. At the end of the day, EA is considered as successful only if it can reduce complexity and enable maximum reuse of assets.
In a perfect world, there would exist an accurate current state architecture. That is rarely the case when starting on the path of EA, and when achieved through moving through the levels of EA maturity will require less time with each step. Change needs to be EA’s focal point, and EA is organization’s change agent.


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