Implementing Enterprise architecture
Enterprise architecture is a set of information source indicating a mission, the information necessary to perform that mission with the technologies involved, and the alteration processes for implementation of new technologies in response to changes in the mission ().
The process of implementation of such a structure of components brings a huge change in the organization. The key issue is to follow some steps that define the process involved in developing the plan, implementing the changes and finally maintaining the architecture.
Defining an Architecture Approach
There exist various frameworks that can be used in development of architectures. Therefore, in order to be able to choose one, information on the intended use has to be available. The aims of this section is to come up with the background of the architecture that defines reality, establish a goal for the technical part, plan on the transitional sessions and providing a documented guide that can be available to the organization employees.
- Find out the intended use of the architecture. Whether it’s for business change, system to system migration, operation evaluation, training of personnel etc.
- Determine the scope of the architecture; this is meant to find out the resources available for implementation and the level of expertise of the implementers.
- Determine the depth of the architecture to find out the level of details to be capture, in order to verify the usability of the architecture
- Select appropriate architecture products; the graphic models or narratives that every architecture description must include.
- Evaluate and Select a Framework; there are several frameworks that exist and choice is based on the characteristics off the organization. Examples are; Zachman Enterprise Framework, The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF), OMB Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA), and The Gartner Methodology (Marc, 2009).
- Select an Enterprise Architecture Toolset; this is a composition of software programs used in the process of architecture development to monitor progress and generate reports.
Developing the Architecture
There are many automated architecture toolsets available in the market (Schekkerman, July 2007). The tools should be chosen based on the complexity of the organization and its needs. Standardization of tools used in the development helps maintain policies and interoperability of models. At this point, the essential and supportive product are all defined and realized. They include briefing charts and interview notes. It is important to include the relationship with external components in order to take care of integration of the architecture with other organizations’ architectures. This stage can be summarized as four tasks;
- Collection of data
- Generation of preliminary products
- Publication and delivery of architecture products to a storage facility
At this point, it is important to develop the Sequencing Plan. This is like a system migration roadmap that gives a guide on how to transit from the old organization to the new structure. It shows the existing systems components and how they will transition to the target;
Fig2. A systems migration chart.
The migration must be well planned because it’s the most important part of implementation
Use the Enterprise Architecture
The entire process of developing the architecture was undertaken for the reason of using it to benefit the organization, so proper use of it is crucial. The focus is in the integration of the architecture across multiple departments in the organization. The architecture is managed as a program to facilitate systematic changes in technology investment and projects to align with the organizations missions and needs. The use will involve;
- Integration with investment management and systems development processes – To assess the business alignment of the proposed investment, decision makers use for example, the business case, acquisition plan, and the project plan to determine whether the proposed investment aligns with the plan of sequence and the architecture.
- Training of personnel-specific training of all members should be done for each decision-making body, as appropriate in the architecture, the architecture process, and the relationship of the architecture to the investment management and system development. This should be according to the roles of the personnel to the architecture implementation plan. The training will allow the employees to filter any deficiencies and do corrections before submission.
- Establish Enforcement Processes and Procedures. Project plans should be submitted for architecture compliance review, the person responsible for the review, documentation on compliance, methods of processing non-compliance, and how to handle existing projects that are not compliant.
- Execute the Integrated Process; this involves population of new projects and listing existing ones, selection, execution and control, completion and evaluation during this process, any need for architectural change is addressed by identifying the technology, the gap in the transition and the sequence in the plan.
- Preparation of proposals and alignment with the architecture; project sponsors prepare proposals in accordance to the organizations requirements, presents the business cases and suggests the solutions using information from the architecture ad other external sources. Project leaders will prepare the proposals by mapping objectives to the high level business requirements, documenting the business cases, determining the risks, costs and timings with the technical and business aspects of the organization being held closely. In order to align the proposals to the architecture, the lead architect and the architects will assess them with regard to the business and technical aspects, from the initial stages up to when the concepts mature.
- Execution and completion of projects; the projects are executed once the funding has been processed and it passes through the whole cycle several times and there are interactions between the project implementers and the architects at designated milestones. The architects provide design advice on emerging trends in the industry to the developers and the business teams during. They make suggestions on information, data, applications, infrastructure, security, and standards. When the project is complete, there is a final assessment of effects on the organization, the enterprise architecture, its operations, future systems, and as a result, investment trends and decisions.
Maintaining the Enterprise Architecture
The architectures continue assessing and aligning the architecture to the always dynamic funding methods, business practices, Industry standards, legislation and technology deployment. The management continues to use the architecture the same way as during the initiation and development. The architecture should reflect reality by reflecting the current state, the desired state, and the long- and short-term strategies for managing the plan of sequence.
Schekkerman J. (July 2007). Enterprise Architecture Tool Selection Guid, Institute For
Enterprise Architecture Developments.
Marc L. (2004). Enterprise Architecture at Work: Modelling: Communication and Analysis
(2nd Edition). Trafford, Canada.
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