We know that the right Enterprise Architecture capabilities deliver tactical and strategic business advantage. We know that Enterprise Architecture functions can be perceived as disconnected from the business and slow to respond to the increasing demands of the digital world.
The CxO community can feel ‘let down’ by Architecture, which at times appears overly academic, introspective and lacking in agility, pragmatism and innovative thinking. Our philosophy and approach responds to this disconnect, championing the pragmatic and agile adoption of Enterprise Architecture alongside new ways of working and structured problem solving.
Enterprise Architecture Consulting
Our Enterprise Architecture Philosophy
There is often ambiguity as to the purpose, remit and ultimate value proposition of Enterprise Architecture. Enterprise Architecture as a discipline and profession must respond to increasing velocity and complexity of change. Enterprise Architecture and Enterprise Architects must understand opportunities and pressures to adapt in response to customer need and increasing digital disruption. This must be managed against a backdrop of established business operations and existing technology investments.
The new art of Agile Enterprise Architecture is bridging the multi-modal world of traditional and digital speed IT [Steve Nimmons, Director]
Despite its seeming mystique, Enterprise Architecture is a set of capabilities and techniques that aid in problem solving. Enterprise Architecture should deliver better decisions, faster.
A strong Enterprise Architecture capability must have sharp commercial focus and a solid understanding of the business, its strategic direction and how both commercial and technical trends can be used to strengthen and adapt the underlying business model(s).
The value proposition of Enterprise Architecture should have qualitative and quantitative measures tied to agreed business outcomes. Enterprise Architects are well placed to provide advice on technology partnerships, ecosystem development, refresh and rationalisation investments in the ICT estate and working with senior stakeholders on key ‘make or buy’ decisions across the business.
We believe in Agile Architecture delivery, combing an Agile methodology (such as Scrum) with the TOGAF (or similar) Architecture Development Method.
TOGAF ADM cycles and deliverables can be delivered in Agile Sprints. Architecture delivery aligns well with Agile ceremonies and informed stakeholders can act as Product Owners for key architectural deliverables. The discipline of Agile ensures that clear ‘definitions of done’ are agreed and observed. The priorities of the architecture team can also quickly be reset in Sprint planning (or if necessary in daily stand ups).
Digital speed IT underpinned by the nexus of social, mobile and cloud demands a rethink and repositioning of innovation and non-traditional techniques within Enterprise Architecture. Architecture functions can be characterised as bloated, slow, risk averse and conservative. The degree to which the architecture function itself embraces new ways of thinking and working is a correlate with its ability to produce and direct the delivery of digital solutions.
Joy’s Law states that “not all the smart people work for you.” This is true of a business and of an Enterprise Architecture function. Our response is to create both virtual and physical communities aligned around Enterprise Architecture, Solution Architecture, Technical Architecture and other special interest groups. A smart Enterprise Architecture function scales and magnifies its influence through collaboration communities, Enterprise Social Networks and Crowdsourcing.
The translation of high-level business strategy into IT strategy, policy, guidelines and principles is critical. This aspect of Enterprise Architecture provides the framework for the governance of change. A mature capability acts as a key advisor in the formulation of strategy and provides exceptional levels of insight to board level decision makers. A key indicator of the utility of Enterprise Architecture is its upwards advisory capabilities and the trust established with the business (in which it must be a high value and highly integrated component).
Enterprise Architecture functions must have clear staff development strategies (recruitment, retention and development of behaviours and skills). SMART objectives managed through a balanced score card help anchor and frame the value proposition of the function within the overall business context.
Architecture functions often struggle to articulate the “Case for Change”, benefits and “what changes” to the business (in simple, engaging ways). Enterprise Architecture is a key component of the ‘change engine’ of the business, but often fails due to an inability to explain the change in a way that inspires and excites stakeholders. Balancing strong functional management with charismatic architectural leadership requires significant managerial focus.
Directing and assuring change lies at the core of Enterprise Architecture. Failing architecture functions have often created a ‘governance industry’ and drown in self-generating bureaucracy. This is also typified by ‘governing at the wrong granularity’ with too much intervention in low-level detail.
Enterprise Architecture is fundamental to successful business and IT transformation. New, retired and uplifted capabilities and services are being continuously managed through transformation and transitions.
Enterprise Architecture must help solve the challenge of where, when and how to invest, rationalise or retire services, products, platforms, applications and capabilities. A well organised architecture function provides immense value in understanding trade-offs and dependencies in a complex constraint based plan. The innovative capabilities of the function help generate new options to negate constraints and support bolder change with lower friction.
Methodologies and frameworks (e.g. TOGAF, Zachman, COBIT, ITIL) must be adapted and implemented pragmatically. Frameworks codify best practice and provide a common language and approach across industry. The corpus of high-value content that an architecture function develops, uses, maintains and shares is a good indicator of its long term sustainability and value.
Our Core Service Offerings
- Architecture Capability Reviews
- Establishing Architecture Capabilities
- Agile Archicture Coaching
- Interim Architecture Leadership
- Full TOGAF ADM Lifecycle (from Architecture Vision to implemented change)
- Domain Architecture Development (across Business, Application, Information, Technology, Integration and Security domains) – using Agile methods
Enterprise Architecture Consulting Services
Summary of Core Capabilities
We have expertise across all TOGAF domains (Business Architecture, Application Architecture, Data Architecture and Technology Architecture) as well as Web Oriented Architecture, Event Driven Architecture and Service Oriented Architecture and Security Architecture.
Frameworks, standards and tools:
- Architecture Frameworks: TOGAF v9, Zachman, MODAF
- Modelling Languages: ArchiMate v2, UML
- Architecture Tools: MooD, Orbus iServer, OpenText
- Delivery methods: Agile Architecture using Scrum
- Standards: ITIL, COBIT, Six Sigma
Enterprise Architecture Frameworks, Tools and Standards
- Target Operating Model
- Capability Modelling
- Skills Baseline and Upskilling
- Benefits Modelling and Realisation
- Requirements elicitation and Management
- Business Process Modelling (BPMN)
- Business Process Improvement
- Organisational Design and Sizing
- Organisational Transformation
- Case for Change
- Stakeholder Engagement and Management
- Human Factors
- Synthetic APIs
- Event Driven Architecture, Event Correlation
- Integration Patterns, styles and protocols including SOA, ESB, RESTful Services
- Open Source and leading vendor middleware products including: TIBCO, IBM, Oracle, JBOSS
- TOGAF and SABSA
- CESG Good Practice Guides (GPG)
- Defence Standards (Joint Service Publications)
- Risk assessments, countermeasures, security controls
- Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
- Identity and access Management
- Business Continuity, resilient and highly available systems
- Application Modernisation
- Application Rationalisation
- Application Strategy
- Open Source
- Behaviour Driven Development
- E/R Modelling
- Master Data Management
- Data Quality
- Business Intelligence and Analytics
- Data Governance
- Cloud Strategy
- Infrastructure Strategy
Enterprise Architecture Reading List