Failure and Success of Enterprise Architecture

February 9, 2007

Reading an article about the usual failures of Enterprise Architecture in Skyscrapr I draw the following summary about what successful enterprise architectures have in common.

  • Decrease complexity by partitioning problems into smaller non-overlapping problems.
  • Increase probability of success by using fast iterations (rather than long iterations focusing too much on quality). The keyword here is fast. The faster the iteration in OOPA (observe, orientate, plan, act) the higher the likelihood of success.
  • Create business architecture design, technical architecture design, implementation, testing and deployment for each partition. Don't move to another partition until the last one was completed. This is what the author calls iterative partitioning.
  • Prioritise the iterative partitions considering Time-to-Value, Return-on-Investment. Focus first on "low-hanging fruit" to establish credibility.
  • Think big, start small.
  • Stay away from application architectures and focus on interoperability (ie don't try to standardise on the implementation).

I highly recommend the article. Straight to the point -- it's definitely not the typical abstract enterprise framework discussion.

Update (2007-11-19): Microsoft has eaten up the site and it's not providing the customary HTTP 302 response code, but I could dig the article again here.

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