Thursday, July 4, 2013

EA as Vista Point Viewfinder

EA as a viewfinder will highlight and communicate both the opportunities and risks, identify decision points, pain points, inflection points, and touchpoints, etc. 

Modern EA plays many important roles in digital enterprise, from communication glue to strategy tool; from problem solver to governance champion; from capability producer to complexity master; from innovation enthusiast to change agent, EA is like a mountain hiking tour guide, it needs to help customers find the perfect vista point, take the best and crucial view/snapshot upon their enterprise, and see it through different lenses.

  1. A Viewpoint can have one or more views depending on what stakeholders want to communicate with, EAs use architecture views and viewpoints to communicate with stakeholders, select viewpoints with their views, but: Which views are the most effective in your organization and why? What are the most appropriate views for differing groups of stakeholders? And, most importantly, which views are best for communicating with the business? 
  1. Choice of viewpoints depends on the specific stakeholders and their concerns regarding the enterprise. This means that explicit selection of viewpoints must be part of the architect's job for each engagement.
    • For architects, Core models, and various conceptual models and taxonomies are very valuable. 
    • For Executives, roadmaps, strategy maps, capability models are valuable, depending on the situation.
    • For program owners project managers, capability models/roadmaps and initiative charters are quite handy. 
    • For technologists, context models, information models, and deployment diagrams tend to get the job done.  
  1. The Single Page EA Blueprint is one of the most important Deliverables of an EA effort since it is used by all stakeholders alike to see and relate their parts in the context of the whole. This one page EA ("core diagrams”) picture is not going to replace the EA though but should evolve and synchronized with all other EA views.  
  1. Business Capability Model: Having got the board behind the architecture investment, EA may unite the execs behind a major technology investment program using a business capability model as the core reference. At the executive level, capability view, which houses the process, people and technology elements, is most useful to chart pain points, strategic decision spots, and investment hotspots.   
  1. Process View: Although the Chiefs select the capability view, like the view you need to show the capabilities that Architecture will deliver and the processes by which they will be delivered.; at the middle level, the process view is very important as it needs to show the responsibilities that are placed on "the Business" to make the Architecture a the reality, too often the role of "the business" is not made clear for all to see and without this visibility (and the resulting accountability),  projects fail.  

  1. Outside-in Customer View. The customer experience view across business capabilities using a business capability model seems to be in increasingly high demand. The outside-in customer view for enterprise can unify a multitude of views, as the different snapshots of view need to be consistent to reflect the single version of truth upon business insight. And how to delight customers at touchpoint needs to become the main theme in those views. 
EA as a viewfinder will highlight and communicate both the opportunities and risks, identify decision points, pain points, inflection points, and touchpoints, etc. The domains of interest and opportunity will vary with every situation. The power to communicate these viewpoints & views will vary with the individual - some people prefer pictures, some prefer words and stories, and some like to see animations that tell a story. Either way, EA is a dedicated view/pathfinder for the enterprise.


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