Monday, October 8, 2012

The Enterprise Architecture Manifesto

This post was originally published on another blog - but we thought it would make a nice segue into our Technovation Talk # - Understanding IT Architecture...

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a relatively new and perhaps not fully mature IT discipline. The practice and philosophical grounding for EA varies widely and even though it has become an accepted, important part of the IT industry, there are still many who cannot agree on what it really represents. Others contend that in its current state of practice or understanding, it is ill-suited to accomplish the task assigned to it by most organizations which currently exploit EA in some fashion.

One reason that both consensus and efficacy remain elusive for EA is that there has not yet been an industry-wide statement of goals or expectations for its practice. The purpose of this blog is to advance a proposed set of expectations for EA that will support current practice as well as it evolutionary trajectory. This statement of expectations is the EA Manifesto. Our first post will introduce the initial draft of the manifesto and all follow-up posts will be dedicated to providing real world examples of the key points from the manifesto as to how the next generation of EA can be achieved. We may also incrementally enhance the manifesto as time progresses.

EA Manifesto 1.0: Tenets:

1. EA is not and cannot be entirely product-centric; it can however be product supported. The nature of which products may support EA practice will remain dynamic over time.

2. EA can and should be Agile in nature. This does not necessarily imply strict adherence to all tenets of current Agile development methodology but does concur with a number of its key principles, including:
  • Timeboxed, iterative development
  • Evolutionary requirements
  • Collaborative feedback
  • Acknowledgement of a dynamic, evolving landscape.
3. EA must always be measured by its relevance to the client or organization it serves.

4. EA is first and foremost a problem solving mechanism.

5. EA is proactive and creative by nature. While it requires analysis it is not solely analytic. EA is solution architecture extended or multiplied across diverse systems and environments.

6. EA is not merely limited to high level, enterprise concerns. It can and does involve integration of solution elements both vertically and horizontally.

7. EA is controlled rather than ad hoc integration.

8. EA is the primary visioning tool and main communication platform for advocating and implementing enterprise initiatives.

9. EA as opposed to many other forms of specialized architecture is general in nature. It must be generalized in order to support the following key capabilities:
  • The ability to span organizational and technical silos
  • The ability to adapt rapidly to change
  • The ability to predict, design and understand the nature of highly complex integrated systems.
10. EA is primarily dedicated to managing complexity and facilitating (continuous) transformation.

11. EA must necessarily encompass both the business and technical domains of each enterprise it serves. This then allows EA to perform perhaps its most valuable function – mission integration.

Copyright 2012, Semantech Inc. All rights Reserved 


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