Tuesday, July 30, 2013

EA as Value Creator: How to Communicate with C-Level?

The architecture is made up from common sense, logic, and analogies that most can relate to...

Future of CIOEA plays an important role in an overly-complex businesses dynamic today, however, it still has a reputation as an “ivory tower” approach. While talking about showing enough to generate the buy-in, what sorts of artifacts or analyses are useful in building enthusiasm for an  Enterprise EA effort? How to focus on ‘value-add” in a measurable context so it can be appreciated immediately when communicating with C-level or board?

  •  EA allows the business to ‘see’ itself more clearly. EA has a vital role in providing the leadership team with an objective, rational and usually very well researched view of the way the Enterprise is built such as visible maps, journeys, and key processes or capability heat map - backed up with real data - to provide a perspective on how well the business operates internally and within its market. 
  • EA harmonizes enterprise effectiveness. EA can enable stakeholders to consolidate, reject, and approve demands according to the alignment with the business strategic goals and priorities & architecture. It is about business demands & as well as IT demands projects and new ideas and initiatives, to ensure that all functional organizations - are collectively and harmoniously doing the right things and making the right decisions to effectively enable the business run, grow and transform. 
  • EA needs to develop a consistent set of high-level deliverables, that the business can understand and enable them to make better decisions in driving business transformation. EA can focus on the project portfolio and the impact on organization and cost! Convince business to have a framework (mostly a set of EA elements) to quantify their decision on initiatives and clear the path to get to the vision or business goals for the transformation journey 
  • EA needs to present value in both management and governance disciplines. There are three characteristics of effective EA: (1) Excellence in Delivery (2). Deep technical Perspective (3).Innovation withstanding market scrutiny. EA has at least three levels of governance, 1) one at the demand /initiative level 2) second at the architecture level and 3) third at the solution level. 

  • Create a simple descriptive balanced scorecard,  to show what is a common theme across all the initiatives make profits by either saving on investments or increasing revenue. Identify the indicators to show the program actually saves money by instrumenting the indicators. If you can't quantify you can’t have an objective argument. Set up the process of instrumenting the performance indicators to see how the progress is measured and what does IMPROVEMENT really means.  
EA needs to be a value creator and should be communicated effectively, as architecture is made up from common sense, logic, and analogies that most can relate to...some say the current state of Enterprise Architecture as a double-sided mirror at the Business/IT border - each sees only a reflection of itself. A true enterprise architect should have dual citizenship in both worlds - but be a master of its own domain. It's time to embrace a high maturity EA.


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