10 ideas to organize you EA

This article written by Mckensey is so much useful, read it, do not read my summary; the list below is just for my memories.

The summary is, companies do not agree on what is the main focus in Enterprise Architecture (EA) management.

  • Some companies are focused on continually measuring IT performance and adjusting business processes and systems as needed.
  • Others focus on alignment of the overall IT architecture with those of the individual business units.
  • And other companies focus EA leaders who promote collaboration and accountability among teams in IT and business functions.

Who is right? probably all of them.

Anyway these are the list of ideas:

  1. EA should reflect the organization of the business (P04).
  2. The company should be clear about who is accountable for EA decisions (P04).
  3. The EA department should collaborate closely with the business and the IT organization (P06).
  4. The EA department should keep strategy-related tasks separate from operational ones (P01).
  5. The company should give the EA department approval rights (P04, ME4).
  6. The company should keep accountability for elements of the enterprise architecture in one group (P04, ME4).
  7. The company should analyze and measure the effects of enterprise architecture on the business (ME1, ME2, ME3).
  8. The EA department should keep it simple.
  9. The company should use one tool to rule all elements of the architecture.
  10. The company should invest in EA leaders.

I have added some weird comments to the list (P01, P03…), the reason is that the 10 points made me think about the Cobit framework and how these ideas are implemented by Cobit. Each one of these marks are related to the framework.

Ok you could not avoid to read the summary and avoided the article, read it, the source of data is very good.

Cobit, a way to track decisions

COBIT is seen by some IT people as a new trend and something we all should have in our organizations, bla, bla, bla…

But, who promotes COBIT or other governance models? The answer is easy: The business.

They are fed up of spending money on IT transformations, changes of provider, investments on pilots, and any other friki ideas the IT guys have.

Business knows the dependency they have of technology, IT is not a secondary department anymore, and this makes that the IT strategy is part of the governance model of the company.

Time to market cycles of products and solutions continue becoming shorter and shorter, so there’s no chance for spending resources and miss market opportunities. The company moves and IT has to follow the move.

And what about innovation and new fresh ideas? They have to be there, but in a governed way, supported by a strong business cases.

Governance models is not a trend, is a need for IT to really behave as a core unit of the company.

One of the main uses of Cobit is to track decisions and business cases. Business is not stupid and they now have a way to see changes of opinions.

For instance, IT decides to go with a provider, they spend million dollars on a transition and 1 year later they find that the new provider sucks.

They are willing to came back to their old provider, that is still there, and that suddenly it was not much bad as they initially described.

What does IT do? They are going to continue with the existing provider, or they will bet to go to another new provider, but they will never will come back to the old one, even if it makes sense.

Why? It’s a political decision, to comeback to the old provider means to recognizes to the business that they were wrong on the strategy; and this is something that is not going to happen.

Governance Vs Management

Governance ensures that stakeholder needs, conditions and options are evaluated to determine balanced, agreed-on enterprise objectives to be achieved; setting direction through prioritization and decision making; and monitoring performance and compliance against agreed-on direction and objectives.

In most enterprises, overall governance is the responsibility of the board of directors under the leadership of the chairperson. Specific governance responsibilities may be delegated to special organizational structures at an appropriate level, particularly in larger, complex enterprises.

Management plans, builds, runs and monitors activities in alignment with the direction set by the governance body to achieve the enterprise objectives.

In most enterprises, management is the responsibility of the executive management under the leadership of the chief executive officer (CEO).

(Roles, activities and relationships between main stakeholders of an enterprise)

(COBIT 5 Governance and Management Key Areas)

  • APO: Align, Plan and Organise.
  • BAI: Build, Acquire and Implement.
  • DSS: Deliver, Service and Support.
  • MEA: Monitor, Evaluate and Assess.