Inside Architecture

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

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  • 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: 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: 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: Rumination on the concept of “best practice”

    I heard some very interesting talks today from Len Fehskens and Jeff Scott at the Open Group conference .  One thing that I picked up in a meeting yesterday was the notion that TOGAF 9.1 is built on “best practices.”  Today, as Jeff spoke about the transformation of a technical architect into...
  • 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: 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: When IT Architects Describe EA to other IT Architects

    Sometimes, I have a hard time being upbeat about the emergence of EA as a profession.  This felling is especially acute when I come across a slick, well-prepared guide to Enterprise Architecture, written by an IT Architect, that is incomplete, inaccurate and/or misleading.  That happened to...
  • Blog Post: Finding Common Ground: in response to a BPTrends article on Process and Capability

    Recently, Paul Harmon published an article in BPTrends that discusses his views on the notion of Business Capability, and whether it is a useful concept.  He was not particularly kind to the field of Business Architecture in his article.  While I encourage my readers to take a few minutes to...
  • Blog Post: Putting the brakes on “capability obesity”

    Microsoft IT made a bet, a couple of years ago, on using capability modeling in our own internal Business Architecture program.  That required us to have a shared and consistent hierarchy of business capabilities that we would use across all lines of business. At that time, we adopted principles...
  • Blog Post: Video Podcast: How Microsoft Does Enterprise Architecture

    It is amazing how often I need to share the very basic concept of Enterprise Architecture with my peers, customers, stakeholders, and associates.  Microsoft’s customers often ask about Enterprise Architecture, and when our customers come to visit us in the Microsoft Executive Briefing Center, they...
  • Blog Post: Segment Architecture in a Commercial Setting

    The notion of an Enterprise Architect in a Segment (aka “Segment Architect”) has been fairly well described in for the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework. (FSAM reference ). It is not always well understood, and there are a small number of blog posts that disparage the concept. That...
  • Blog Post: Can Federal EA ever include the full scope of Enterprise Architecture?

    Adrian Grigoriu recently posted about the failure of EA frameworks to address real enterprise architecture, due to their focus on IT and lack of focus on business.  He is right, of course, in pointing out that TOGAF does not cover Enterprise Architecture fully and that Zachman is so poor that it...
  • Blog Post: Assumptions under a Zachman Framework presentation

    I am writing this blog post while I am listening to a teleconference from Sam Holcman, founder of the EACOE, friend of John Zachman, and a leading proponent of his own methodology for using the Zachman Framework.  It should be no surprise to folks who read my blog that I have a love-hate relationship...
  • Blog Post: Does EA need a name change?

    Recently, Tim Westbrock asked, in his blog , if we should drop the term “Enterprise Architecture” when referring to the strategic business planning perspective within the EA role.  “The question that I will leave you all with is this:  Can EA be successfully evolved to become a tool of business...
  • Blog Post: Why “good” doesn’t happen

    On a blog post titled “ what good looks like ,” Alan Inglis detailed a list of “project architectectural artifacts” that he wishes that previous architects would leave behind when a project is completed.  In his list, Alan details 10 artifacts (actually 14, if you use the ZF to catalog them) that...
  • Blog Post: Towards an Enterprise Business Motivation Model

    Today marks the end of a long dry spell. As of today, I’m back in print with an article in the Architecture Journal called “ Towards an Enterprise Business Motivation Model .” Of interest to Business Architects, Strategists, Business Planners, and Management Consultants, the Enterprise...
  • Blog Post: Will there be a battle between Archimate and the UML?

    A friend was kind enough to remind me, this morning, that Archimate is still kicking around and making noises. In fact, for a modeling language that’s been in quiet development for many years, Archimate having something of a rebirth as it is now part of the Open Group. Many Enterprise and Solution...
  • Blog Post: A first look at TOGAF 9.0

    Well, it is February 2nd, and today, the Open Group is announcing the general availability of TOGAF version 9.0 .  For those of you not familiar with TOGAF, it is an ambitious and maturing Enterprise Architecture Framework created by the members of the Open Group. I’ve had the good fortune to be...
  • Blog Post: Clarifying the Concept of Metadata

    Metadata is a difficult word to define, or so it would appear. After all, why is it that the best that Wikipedia can do is: Metadata ( meta data , or sometimes metainformation ) is "data about data", of any sort in any media. An item of metadata may describe an individual datum, or content item...
  • Blog Post: Merging EA Frameworks

    I've spent some time of late looking at various EA frameworks. Nothing perfect out there yet, but quite an array of useful things. But what would it take to create a single consistent framework for the IT profession? Let's look at the stuff that's there now. (Caveat: I reserve the right to be wrong....
  • Blog Post: How FEA handles Capability and Process Modeling

    A few weeks ago, in a blog post , I asked about the relationship between business process modeling and business capability modeling. I asked some open ended questions to get honest feedback. I presented two models to illustrate two potential relationships between capabilities and processes. I called...
  • Blog Post: Merging Capability Modeling with Process Modeling

    Gentle reader: can you help me to solve a debate? Introduction Many companies have adopted the practice of capability modeling in the past few years. Often, this is done to align the portfolio of business initiatives (and often, IT projects) with corporate strategy. Many folks, including our own...
  • Blog Post: Introducing the "Double Iron Triangle" of Enterprise Architecture

    You have probably heard of the Iron Triangle of project management (Cost, Scope, and Time). Did you know that Enterprise Architecture has it's own iron triangle? It does, and understanding the EA triangle is a great way to understand and describe the role, mission, and value of Enterprise Architecture...
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