In my last post I talked about "keeping EA metrics on the trail" and what you need to think about when gathering the right metrics. By understanding what you need and pitfalls to avoid including common mistakes when gathering metric and tips on what you should be looking for when gathering these metrics. I will now talk about some ways in which you can figure out the value of your organization.
The problem you will have is that there isn't a prescriptive way you can measure your organization. There are the following factors:
Since we have many factors that go into this, I am going to be somewhat generic but try to give you some solid all-purpose guidance for obtaining metrics. Bare in mind, keep your ego out of the metrics discussion. You want to prove the value of enterprise architecture and not the value of Joe Smith who is an EA.
If we look back at the previous post we want to look at the three data points EA's should gather.
First is to obtain the right information. But what is the right information? Should we be focusing on how to align this with the business or with IT activities? The answer to this is that it depends... It depends because these answers hinge on the maturity of your EA and organization as a whole. However, in most organizations we are on the slightly less mature side so that is what I will focus on.
EA organizations rarely report into a CEO or Business unit. There are a few companies out there that do but this ideal state is something that most business do not do. On a side note, this is unfortunate because this is ideal for EA's to report to the CEO rather than the CIO. Most EA organizations report to the CIO or below. This has implications on EA's. What it means is that your in the IT organization and at the end of the day you are measured not on the business but on the health of your IT organization. So to go back to the questions posed, you should focus on IT activities when building metrics. Does this mean you should exclude business alignment, absolutely not! However you should realize that you are ultimately accountable and responsible for IT, not the business.
Now that we have set the stage a bit, what are some metrics you can obtain.
Second is to integrate into existing processes. You want to ensure that it isn't too intrusive to the process. Remember too much process is a bad thing. The key here is to gather key metrics from these processes. There are a ton of great metrics from process out there such as:
Lastly, communicate frequently. Surfacing this information is critical because what you want is awareness of your EA efforts. Overall perception is important to your organization. You should be viewed as a change agent in the organization. Tools that you can use to do so are:
Each one has a specific purpose and should be leveraged for their strengths. Even though these mechanisms are "soft metrics" they can still provide you with valuable ways to quantify your efforts.
In summary, shown above are practical and realistic metrics you can use to quantify and qualify your EA efforts. Even though we didn't focus on the business directly, they benefits can be articulated in business terms as well. Once they see the successes you have achieved in IT, then and only then will you be a trusted partner to aid them directly on their efforts.
Like all EA organizations stat small and work in an iterative fashion. These activities are rarely perfect out of the gate. However keep your eye on the future state and build or buy the tools that are needed to track these metrics.
Also keep your eyes on the organizational aspects such as:
Tags: Enterprise Architecture Architecture Repositories