Inside Architecture

Notes on Enterprise Architecture, Business Alignment, Interesting Trends, and anything else that interests me this week...

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  • Blog Post: EA Debt

    (Note: I've added an addendum to this post) It has been many years that we have lived with the concept of technical debt. Martin Fowler did a good job of describing the concept in a 2003 article on his wiki. Basically, the idea is that you can make a quick-and-dirty change to software. You will have...
  • Blog Post: Climbing the ladder from EITA to EA

    One of the most common problems in Enterprise Architecture, and one I get asked about routinely, is the “ladder” problem.  Many Enterprise Architecture teams are formed by assembling a group of talented technologists into a team and giving them a charter to “go do EA.”  The problem is that...
  • Blog Post: Diversity Versus Replication of Organizational Processes and Information

    I recently had the pleasure of joining a discussion among organizational development professionals. During that discussion, one individual asked an interesting question: in a distributed organization with multiple operating units, spread geographically around the world, should the organizational structure...
  • Blog Post: The Purpose of an Enterprise Architecture Framework

    Can Social Media create new ideas? Here’s an example where the answer is “yes.” I recently blogged about EA models, and what makes them interesting . I was thinking about providing insight to people who were in the mood to send me updates to the EBMM… a rather tactical post...
  • Blog Post: Ten Ways to Kill An Enterprise Architecture Practice

    Have you seen practices that you know could kill an Enterprise Architecture practice?  I have.  A recent LinkedIn thread asked for examples, and I came up with my top ten.  I’d love to hear your additions to the list. How to screw up an EA practice Get a senior leader to ask for EA without...
  • Blog Post: We do what you say we will do – Integrity By Architecture

    One of the chief complaints of senior executives in midsize and large companies is that their organizations don’t “execute” on the goals that they set.  This concern is so common, it’s the butt of jokes.  Entire systems of governance and measurement are created specifically to provide assurance...
  • Blog Post: The “Right” Representation of the EA Value Cycle

    In the world of Enterprise Architecture, we are still creating “shared” understanding of how to tell our stakeholders what we do.  There is no consistency in our diagrams or our descriptions just yet.  This post will discuss the different ways we present the value stream of Enterprise Architecture...
  • Blog Post: Humility and the Art of Enterprise Architecture

    As a lot, Enterprise Architects are not terribly humble people.  We name frameworks after ourselves, and sometimes go to great lengths to correct the “misinterpretations” of others who describe our work in a way that we don’t agree with.  Yet, recognizing that the field is young requires that...
  • Blog Post: Should Business Architects use the Business Model Canvas at the Program level?

    In the Open Group conference at Newport Beach, I listened to a series of presentations on business architecture.  In one of them, the presenter described his practice of using Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas to create a model of his program’s environment after a business program (aka business...
  • Blog Post: Steps To Create a Core Diagram

    To be fair, these are steps to create a solid understanding of the architecture of a business, but the deliverable is a core diagram, so that’s the title of the post.  I first wrote about a method for creating core diagrams about a year ago, as I was preparing for a talk on the subject at the Open...
  • Blog Post: Everything you’ve read about IT Project Failure is wrong

    I did a scan around the web to figure out what many of the leading thinkers were saying about IT project failure and the root causes.  Numbers varied between 20% and 80% of projects failing to deliver on their business case.  The root cause analysis that follows from these failure numbers spends...
  • Blog Post: Is Enterprise Architecture accountable for improving customer experience?

    A recent experience with poor customer service has got me thinking about the role of EA in addressing customer experience issues.  One of the last things I was working on, while still in Microsoft IT, was working on an initiative to systematically help improve customer experience.  With that...
  • Blog Post: Many (flawed) Definitions of Business Architecture

    Not long ago, I attempted to create a refined definition of “business architecture.” I felt compelled to do so because the definition that I found in the Business Architecture Guild’s BizBOK (Guide to the Business Architecture Body of Knowledge) defined the word “business architecture”...
  • Blog Post: Taking a Careful Slice – Defining Business Architecture

    I’m putting together my presentations for TechEd New Zealand, one of which is titled “Business Architecture for Non Architects.” In that presentation, I need to provide a good, SHORT, definition of business architecture. So, like a good soldier, I marched over to the Business Architecture...
  • Blog Post: Podcast on the Enterprise Architecture profession–Interview with CIPS’s Stephen Ibaraki

    Way back in April, I announced the first of two podcasts with the Canadian Information Processing Society.  I just realized this weekend that I had not announced the availability of the second of those podcasts.  Error corrected. The second podcast, once again hosted by the inimitable Stephen...
  • Blog Post: The EA Metamodel behind the Business Model Generation

    Back when Alexander Osterwalder was first working on the book “Business Model Generation,” I reached out to him to see if I could discuss the data elements he had chartered for his “Business Model Canvas.” After all, from an Enterprise Architecture standpoint, he was making some...
  • Blog Post: Aligning the EBMM with Archimate

    I just recently had a conversation with a talented enterprise architect who had brought together the EA framework elements from numerous different sources in order to address the needs of his business. Included in that list was the Enterprise Business Motivation Model which I developed and which I continue...
  • Blog Post: Speaking at TechEd New Zealand on Business Architecture

    Haven’t  been to New Zealand yet, but I will be there soon… From September 4 through 7 in Auckland, for TechEd New Zealand.  I will be presenting two topics (Business architecture for non architects, and Aligning IT with capabilities). Now, normally you wouldn’t see Enterprise Architecture...
  • Blog Post: Three Schools of Thought for Enterprise Architecture

    It is interesting to watch the debates online between the different schools of thought of Enterprise Architecture. The discussion was started by James Lapalme, who published a paper on "three schools of thought" which is in pre-print for the IEEE's IT Professional journal. ( citation ) Mostly the online...
  • Blog Post: Setting Up A New EA or BA Practice

    Recently, I was contacted via this blog by an individual who had been challenged to set up a new Business Architecture practice within his company’s Enterprise Architecture team. He reached out to me to ask about some books to read and some advice. I’m expanding my message to him here. As...
  • Blog Post: On the road to a Business Architecture Manifesto

    One very powerful metaphor that has reverberated throughout the technical community, in the past few years, was the Agile Manifesto .  Created by a group of folks who wanted to communicate the principles that drove their thinking, the Agile Manifesto has been a very useful tool for deciding if a...
  • Blog Post: Podcasts with the Canadian Information Processing Society

    I was honored, recently, when the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) decided to interview me on the topics of Enterprise Architecture.  The first of those interviews has appeared on the CIPS.CA web site.  You can link to it from here. http://www.cips.ca/CIPS-INTERVIEWS-Nick-Malik...
  • Blog Post: Analysis, Synthesis, and Scope: Business Architecture vs. Business Analysis, part two

    A few days ago, I quickly dashed off a post on the difference between a business architect and a business analyst .  The reaction was immediate and rather vociferous.  The IIBA took me to task for saying that a business architect is NOT a business analyst.  In addition, Tom Graves (Enterprise...
  • Blog Post: The difference between business architect and business analyst

    [ Author’s note: within an hour of posting the following article, Kevin Brennen of the IIBA dry-roasted the post on his own blog. You can find a link to his entry here: Business Architecture is Business Analysis . I have made an attempt to fix a few of the most egregious errors in the post, and...
  • Blog Post: How Enterprise Architects can cope with Opportunistic Failure

    You may not think that Failure is a desired outcome, and on the surface, there are some negative connotations to failure.  It just sounds “bad” for a team to fail.  However, there are times when a manager will INTENTIONALLY fail in a goal.  Let’s look at the scenario where a manager may...
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