Category Archives: Alignment

Innovation in an Enterprise Architecture Context: Innovating the Business Processes, Technological Services and Corporate Strategies.


This blog post deals with innovation in regards to the Enterprise Architecture program. I’ve been able to identify two different approaches to innovation. The first approach to innovation is what I define as incremental innovation. The second approach to innovation is radical innovation. In most cases incremental innovation is innovation in social systems where small improvements have been introduced to the social systems.

Likewise is radical innovations forms of innovations that fundamentally changes the social systems e.g. how they work or how they interact with one another.

Likewise is the concept of innovation extremely context dependable. For one social system a particular approach could be considered an innovation where the same concept could be considered old news. Innovation, could as before mentioned, be incremental saying that a new way to deal with the piece of technology or business activity. Likewise could the same situation be radical if the technology never had been used before.

When it comes to innovation and applying it in the context of the enterprise the question of adaption would have to be dealt with.


Rogers speaks of how the innovations spreads to the various organizations, parts of the organizations and people. In this process there are five stages before the people of the enterprise would be able to fully apply any given form of innovation.

Innovation defused by that people observer other people who have success by applying the particular innovation in order to solve problems or to certain things in a new way that benefits them and their social structures.

Social systems shares a culture that is shared among the individuals who interact with the social systems. The purpose of the culture is to give the members of the enterprise a sense of security against the ever changing environment that the members of the enterprise is situated in. Culture is usually against changes and thereby against innovations. However there are also cases that suggests that culture can be used to enable the enterprise with innovation if the executives and middle management gives the employes the proper amount of trust.

In other words Enterprise Architecture has to be adapted to the enterprise that is about to invest in the program and as such the Enterprise Architecture program can be seen as an incremental innovation and a radical innovation depending on how the decision makers and the stakeholders sees the implementation process.

Innovation and EA

In regards to enterprise innovation the focus of Enterprise Architecture would be to deal with the processes in the enterprise. For enterprises the idea of incremental innovation would be dealing with the processes in small steps while radical innovations would be innovations that are “game changing” for the enterprise. In this particular light it is a necessity to see Enterprise Architecture as a form of continuous innovation for the enterprise and as such a container for future innovations and as such can the Enterprise Architecture program become a barrier for the innovativeness of the enterprise.

It easily become a fine act of balancing between the rules, standards and principles and the necessity to crystalize solutions for the various unplanned situations that the enterprise experience. Ciborra named this the concept of bricolage (or organizational hacking). In order to facilitate bricolage it is a necessity for the decision takers to empower the employees of the enterprise by allocating power and accountability to the middle managers or the employees. As such this should give the enterprise the necessary platform in order to make bricolage works.

Innovation in this context could be facilitated by the various stakeholders of the enterprise and through the Enterprise Architecture program the concept of innovation could empower the alignment and the agility of the enterprise.

Enterprise Architecture

So what is Enterprise Architecture all about? I’ve chosen to define Enterprise Architecture as a program that deals with the various projects that the enterprise works with in order to change its architecture. However this can not serve as a definition since it doesn’t include some of the most important elements of Enterprise Architecture. Enterprise Architecture as a concept includes an element of documentation of the current architecture of the enterprise (known as the AS – IS situation) and an element that deals with how the future architecture of the enterprise should be like (the To – Be situation). Different communities of practice within the ecosystem of Enterprise Architecture practitioners sees the concept of Enterprise Architecture differently e.g. some sees Enterprise Architecture as a set of processes that constantly ensures some alignment through the implementation of processes and others who sees Enterprise Architecture as a form of blueprinting that ensures that the enterprise develops in to a coherent entity. There are most likely different views of what Enterprise Architecture is all about in the various communities in the ecosystem, and it is almost certain that each book that have been published on Enterprise Architecture works with its own definition of the concept.

My definition of Enterprise Architecture is in this context that Enterprise Architecture (as a concept) consists of a program for documentation of the enterprise’s architecture, a program for identification, specification and development of projects that enable the enterprise to achieve its goals. Likewise does the concept of Enterprise Architecture include the development of standards and principles that are used to govern the enterprise on all levels. When this is said the last component that add to the definition of what Enterprise Architecture is all about is the concept of enterprise governance.

Enterprise governance has to ensure that the enterprise achieves its goals and the goals can only be achieved if there is some kind of innovation in the enterprise. Innovation should in this context be understood as an ability to alter the various parameters of the enterprise.

The Synthesis

I’ve with some inspiration from Leavitt (1965) and his diamond model defined my own model that shows what Enterprise Architecture is all about. Enterprise Architecture is the platform for how the organization executes the business objectives, business processes and technology services. As such the holistic approach to deal with the elements of tasks, business objectives and technology services will have an impact on what kind of employees that would be needed in order to ensure that the enterprise can produce products and services to its customers. Each of the elements impacts the other elements and as such the decision makers (executives, middle managers, team leaders or anarchies) have to deal with the problems through the Enterprise Architecture platform and program.

People are the key when it comes to the breakdown of the classical barriers in the organizational hierarchy and as such it becomes a necessity to deal with people in order to achieve a better and more mature enterprise architecture. It becomes a necessity to deal with the focus of who the enterprise have access to and how the various stakeholders of the enterprise can add to the innovativeness of the enterprise.

While the enterprise adds value through producing products and services to its customers. The various stakeholders in the enterprise do some kind of bricolage or organizational hacking. The concept of organizational hacking can’t be dealt with in any other way and as such most of this “hacking” helps the organization deal with the everyday crisis and as such the Enterprise Architecture program (principles, standards and security) has to take this into consideration and find the balance between hacking and standardization.

While implementing an Enterprise Architecture program the decision makers would have to ensure that incremental innovation isn’t neglected or for that matter locked due to the approach to standards and principles. Likewise should the decision makers work with the concept of bricolage in their assumptions of planning, and as such they should embrace that two, three or five year plans can’t lead to competitive advantages.

Making Sense: One of the Components of Achieving Holistic Management.

Can You Make Sense of the Enterprise

One of many reasons for why many enterprises experiences that organizational change projects fail and their respective leaders and managers only discovers that there are significant problems with the way the members of the enterprise activities.

The Sense Making Process

In the sense making process it is rather likely that the preferred departments of the enterprise would be the IT department since the IT department is properly that department that has a lot of contact with the rest of the enterprise, and the rest of the enterprise contacts and require that the IT department uncovers their needs to develop information systems that supports their business processes.

However in many enterprises a lot of the other departments have hostile feelings towards the IT department. This means that the IT department and its representatives will be viewed with skepticism, and the concept of sense making is therefore undermined.

In relation to the writings of Doucet et al (Doucet et al 2009) then the ideal situation would be when the enterprise when the Chief Operations Officer that is in charge of the sense making and Enterprise Architecture approach but usually it needs a maturation period where the knowledge and responsibility has been handed over from the Chief Information Officer. From this perspective then it is likely that Doucet et al argues for a paradigm shift within the enterprise. When addressing the view of the enterprise then the focus has to address the mechanistic and the organic perspective also. Is the enterprise a social system that functions like a machine that can be optimized or is a kind of organic entity that can be impacted through facilitation.

The thoughts that Doucet et al presents deals with how the enterprise will obtain a higher degree of assurance, alignment and agility when the enterprise goes through a process of uncovering and adapting the Enterprise Architecture program. When fully adapted then the enterprise will be able to reach out and re-design its enterprise. The only way to achieve this is by an enabling of sense making at all levels of the enterprise.

Karl Weick (Weick 2000, p. 244) works with a concept that deals with how the enterprise in one way or the other scans its environment and how this impacts how the enterprise creates an understanding for how the strategy process can be articulated.

In this perspective the focus of sense making is in an external context where there are three phases. 1) Scanning the environment, 2) Interpretation and 3) Learning. The learning phase is dealing with how the enterprise learns and that is done through practice. The interpretation deals with how the enterprise understands its environment and how it starts to acquire the model it needs to create an understanding of its environment and its options.

I am of the opinion that the scanning process can be used inside of the enterprise as well and especially the second step has to be investigated into detail by the chief architect and for that matter the coherency architect. If the enterprise doesn’t take reality into consideration when it articulates the corporate strategy then it is very likely that the rest of the strategies that have been articulated aren’t able to cope with the real life situations within the enterprise. When addressing this it is very important to understand that if the enterprise doesn’t base their plans on their contextual reality then it the plans will at best give hope to the members of the enterprise.

When I talk of contextual reality then it is the combination of feelings, experiences, observations and not to forget hard fact. Hard facts are usually numbers and for that matter artifacts that can be understood in a narrow way by the individuals who have to relate to it and not forget how the social system that receives the analysis sees the world e.g., it would be very likely if the receivers would reject the analysis if it contradicts their own behavioral pattern and for that matter world view.

An example could be that a chief architect delivers a plan for the enterprise that is based on the organic1 view of the organization and the receivers have a view that is predominately mechanistic2. In someways can this situation be compared to the changes that happens in science when a particular community of scientists have been challenged a different community of scientists who has another view on how a particular problem (world view or paradigm) has to be applied. It takes a lot of energy and a lot of resources in change effort of seeing validating and accepting the other point of view.

It is therefore very likely that the chief architect or for that matter the coherency architect who has to address the problems in the enterprise through a change program that would have to engage in a dialogue on what the enterprise is, how management should be working, how the various elements of the enterprise should interact and not to forget how the members of the enterprise produce value for the enterprise. When speaking of value then I address how the individual member of the enterprise contributes to the goals that have been articulated by the strategy team (usually the executives of the enterprise).

In this dialogue the coherency architect would have to think of it as a process where the various stakeholders would have to adapt to the new views of the enterprise, management, approaches and not to forget one another. The process might not be able to produce the desired results right away but it is a dialogue or struggle that the coherency architect would have to take in order to force the executives of the enterprise to facilitate change.

The Resilient Organization

The difference between the conventional approach to change and ideas, and the resilient organization is that the resilient organization is an organizational system that identifies the exceptions in the operations, and acts pro-actively to correct the changes before exceptions escalates to the extend of a burning platform.

However the members of a resilient organization by themselves understand that they have to inform the other members of the enterprise about how or what is about to happen in the various sections of the enterprise, and the members of the enterprise have been trained to act to adapt to the environment that the organizations interact with. In the same time the members of the enterprise adapts to one another by informing one another on the conditions of the enterprise’s work systems. It is the self-correcting attitude that the members of the enterprise show while they are working that enables them to make the enterprise resilient to the changes.

The members of the enterprise needs to be able to share information local, regional and for that matter on a global plan and for that the Enterprise Architecture program and repository be a great enabler.

With this in mind then the concept of holistic management will be dealt with in the next paragraph.

Holistic Management

Bernard and Doucet et al argues that the enterprise needs holistic management and through that they would be able to achieve competitive advantages when achieving holistic management. But what is holistic management? And is holistic management even achievable.

A holistic form of management is according to Hoogervorst achievable if the enterprise works with the organic way interpret and embody the actions of the enterprise.

Holistic Management deals that the enterprise can achieve some form of coherent and informed governance by applying Enterprise Architecture to uncover the entire enterprise and thereby its whole architecture.

Enterprise Architecture is a way to lay the foundation for Holistic Management. When speaking of Holistic Management the concept needs to be defined. The concept of Holistic Management is dealing with how the executives, managers, workers and other stakeholders (usually these are connected to the enterprise like banks, suppliers and increasingly advisors and consultants) gains an overview of how the various elements of the enterprise (and thereby its architecture) works. This overview can then be operationalized into a form governance where the various executives, managers and workers contribute to the decision process and by that the right actions can be taken for the right purposes.

When the foundation has been established then the focus has to be turned to trust and motivation among the various stakeholders to support and maintain the foundation for the Holistic Management. I am of the opinion that most enterprises are results of coincidence and as such the entire enterprise is somehow a product of randomly selected individuals, purposes, resources and work flow. Likewise are there many different reasons for why the enterprise has developed into what it is. By writing this I commit myself and my view on the enterprise holistic management through the eyes of the organismic approach to organizational management where the idea is that the enterprise isn’t a machine but a form of organism that can eventually be cultured and evolved into something smarter and better.

This leads to some of the reflections on what Enterprise Architecture and Holistic Management.


When working with Enterprise Architecture is dealing with how the enterprise can achieve alignment among the various elements of the enterprise e.g., between the business units (lines of business) and the their usage of information technology. However is it possible to achieve a form of holistic management for enterprises? Is it possible to achieve a form of enterprise governance that is able to impact practices of the enterprise on all levels in order to enable the executives to tune or grow the enterprise into a desired state? In my opinion it is possible to either tune or grow the enterprise but it isn’t possible to achieve governance without friction in some form within the enterprise. But it is of great importance for the enterprise to undermine the barriers that in one way or the other limits the ability of the enterprise to adapt, innovate and align its various components in order to achieve competitive advantages.

The first step in achieving holistic management is through initiating a scanning process of the external environment as well as initiating a scanning of the internal environment. The scanning process can achieve some ideas on how the enterprise works. Given the information on how the environments that the enterprise operates with the executives can operationalize into better and more efficient decision making. In my opinion the scanning process is vital for achieving Holistic Management or something close too. Nonetheless Enterprise Architecture and for that matter Coherency Management is of great importance to enable Holistic Management and these programs needs to be taken seriously by the executives and middle management.

The resilient enterprise is in my opinion a result of an Enterprise Architecture program that goes beyond of the foundation architecture (going beyond the IT centric approach).

When Enterprise Architecture is applied in the right situation then it is possible that the enterprise can advance towards a resilient organization; however Enterprise Architecture is only one of the factors that will enable a resilient organization, but Enterprise Architecture can both become an enabler and a driver towards.


Sense making is a process of which the stakeholders can gain knowledge on how the enterprise is doing compared to its customers, suppliers and competitors. This has to be taken into consideration of how the enterprise works and how the system needs to be adapted to achieve competitive advantages.

Enterprise Architecture is a combination of a toolset, method and process that can give the stakeholders an overview of the enterprise works. In the same way the enterprise is able to initiate the processes needed to undermine barriers for agility, innovation and adaptability and establishing the platforms that are needed to achieve a continuous tuning or growth of the enterprise.

The resilient organization is probably the most likely candidate for achieving the ability of Holistic Management and only organizational knowledge and culture can enable the organization to achieve the change and the platforms.


Doucet, G. et al., 2009. Coherency Management: Architecting the Enterprise for Alignment, Agility and Assurance, International Enterprise Architecture Institute.

Hoogervorst, J.A.P., 2009. Enterprise Governance and Enterprise Engineering, Springer.

Karl E. Weick and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe, Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty, 2nd ed. (Jossey Bass, 2007).

Karl E. Weick, Making Sense of the Organization (WileyBlackwell, 2000).


1As Hoogervorst articulated it in his book from 2009 (Enterprise Governance and Enterprise Engineering),

2An older paradigm than the organic paradigm. The organization is seen as a kind of machine.

Download the paper here


IT Strategy Paradigms: Ways to understand and develop IT strategies in a Coherency Management Context.

What is an IT strategy

I have been able to identify two major approaches to articulate IT strategies.

The first major approach is the typical MIT Sloan School of Management approach that support the issues of a some how detached IT strategy from the corporate strategy. The strategy is build upon the assumption that IT is complex, and needed to compete with other organizations on particular issues. IT is a vital component and can’t be ignored in the ever changing competitive environment that most enterprises are in.

The notable theoreticians within the paradigm of the MIT Sloan School of Management are Erik Brynjofsson, Jeanne Ross and Peter Weill.

I title this approach the separated IT approach.

I have likewise been able to identify an opposing approach. The opposing approach deals with that IT is that dominant that the executives have to include IT in their corporate strategy. IT can’t be seen as a unique form of investment since IT is equal to many other forms of technology e.g., machines, cars, boats etc.

There are so far rather few theoreticians who commit openly to this approach to IT strategy, the most notable is properly Chris Potts and Scott Bernard (who indirectly support this approach through his views on Enterprise Architecture).

The later approach seems promising since it promotes that the various actors within the enterprise should work along side in a coherent fashion which is in the spirit of Enterprise Architecture.

The two approaches do share some common features e.g., the time frame, the focus on technology and principles needs to be addressed and that IT is a necessity to compete in the modern economy.

IT-strategy paradigms.
IT-strategy paradigms.

The Integrated Strategy Approach

The executives have to understand IT when they work with strategy and they have to understand the impact of applying Information Technology to e.g., Information Systems such as ERP systems, CRM systems or similar. McKeen & Smith (2004) that Information Technology is in nearly all aspects of an enterprise today. That means that the enterprise and the management of the enterprise needs to adjust to the new situation. McKeen & Smith argues that the IT department needs to be proactive to cope with the changes in the industry and the social conditions of the enterprise.

The IT managers don’t necessarily understand the future work with the business and it might lead that they develop assumptions that are out of touch with reality. Neither can we expect that IT persons (or for that matter other persons) knows everything or equally good at anything.

What is important in tis particular approach Potts argues that the need for governing the enterprise as a coherent entity and therefore should the enterprise avoid the detached IT department.

Chris Potts works with the assumption that any kind of modern and Western economies have to include IT in some way. Therefore should the executives (or other strategists) include IT in the articulation process of the corporate strategy. Potts argue that the IT department shouldn’t be separating from “the business” will lead to that the IT department, and the services the IT department provides the business will be seen as an external entity and therefore can’t the IT department have any influence on the corporate strategy.

This leads to the separated strategy approach that have some opposing views on how the enterprise should be dealing with IT in the strategy planning session.

The Separated Strategy Approach

The operating model is what the enterprise should be working with. This particular model maps how the enterprise works. Ross & Weill”s approach is that there are four different generic approaches that the enterprise can make use of (Ross & Weill 2009).

The operating models are then deal with through the needs of the business; but the assumption that Ross & Weill works with is that IT is complex and that executives from the business don’t understand how IT works.

Along side McKeen & Smith they claim that IT needs to become a proactive force but yet IT is that complex that it needs to be governed and dealt with by specialists or generalists who have an understanding of how IT works and how the various implementation approaches of IT works.

What The Approaches Share

Both approaches share features from one another e.g., the both approaches defines IT as a complex form of investments that needs to be governed. Likewise does both approaches suggests that the articulation of the strategy isn’t enough. The strategy needs to be embodied in the actions of the executives.

Both approaches suggests that IT is a corner stone in how the enterprises do business now a days. Both approaches argues that “the business” and the IT department needs to understand one another to make the necessary decisions to create synergy and through that make the business perform as it had more resources at hand.

Coherency Management

In a context of Coherency Management IT plays a decisive role in the foundation architecture, and the ideas presented in Ross & Weill (2006 & 2009) and FruITion both appeal to the usage of Enterprise Architecture to combine business and IT to create competitive advantages. The foundation architecture is characterized by the CIO and the IT department is the driver for enabling an Enterprise Architecture program. It is essential for any enterprise that pursues assurance, alignment and agility to establish an understanding of how the enterprise works and then apply the tools to elevate the Enterprise Architecture program to embrace more than just the IT department.

In conclusion an IT strategy should be tightly coupled to the corporate strategy to make any kind of benefit from working and governing IT.


McKeen, J.D. & Smith, H.A., 2003. Making IT Happen: Critical Issues in Managing Information Technology, John Wiley & Sons.

Potts, C., 2008. fruITion: Creating the Ultimate Corporate Strategy for Information Technology illustrated edition., Technics Publications, LLC.

Ross, J.W., Weill, P. & Robertson, D.C., 2006. Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution illustrated edition., Harvard Business School Press.

Download the paper here .

The IT Strategy: An Articulation of the IT Strategy from a Coherency Architect’s Point of View.

Articulation of the IT Strategy

The Coherency Architect needs to be able to deal with the IT strategy otherwise he or she will not be able to drive any value from the Enterprise Architecture. There are many approaches to how an IT strategy can be articulated and what the primary focus should be.

This blog post will deal with the approach Chris Potts have proposed in his book titled “FruITion”. Chriss Potts have proposed a bit controversial approach to IT strategy e.g., he focuses on other models and claim that when the organization manages its investments then the right portfolio of technology will be selected, likewise does he propose that the role of the CIO isn’t an imperative. In the novel Chris Potts suggest the title “CIIO” for Chief Internal Investment Officer.

The Coherency Architect can make use of the approach to challenge his or her own view on the strategy and thereby be able to produce better strategy.

It is notable that the book is organized around a novel that deals with a CIO that faces a situation where he can’t pin point what kind of value the IT department brings value to the organization.
Potts then write emphasize some observations that can be made on each of the chapters in the book.

The Strategy Articulation Process

This section is based on the definitions that Potts describes in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p. 13):

  1. Most robust strategies emphasize high value on its environmental feedback.

  2. Make sure the strategy is meaningful to the stakeholders of the strategy.

  3. Distinguish between the strategic level and the operational level thinking.

  4. Disinterest should never be understood as trust.

The following four statements are based on Potts’s “fruITion” (Potts 2008, p. 25):

  1. A document that contains the strategy is not the strategy.

  2. The language used to articulate a strategy shows the mindset of which the person who articulated made use of (or has).

  3. If the host organization (enterprise) has an IT strategy then it is necessary to include all of the Information Technology the organization (enterprise) makes use of.

  4. It is an imperative that the IT strategy has to summarized in one meaningful sentence; otherwise the strategy needs to be reworked.

  5. If the organization (enterprise) has an IT roadmap then it is imperative that the driver of the roadmap isn’t the suppliers but the tactical goals and strategies of the organization.

  6. If the CIO runs the IT department as an external business (weak links to the enterprise) then the enterprise will threat the IT department as such.

The following four statements are based on Potts’s “fruITion” (Potts 2008, p. 54):

  1. Shape the strategy by exploring why the company isn’t already fulfilling its promise.

  2. The CIO should validate who the promise is “talking about”.

  3. Build the strategy on a model that emphasize the customer and supplier perspective and never the “Business and IT” perspective. The over all reason for this is that the organization and IT department is one and the same.

The following four statements are based on Potts’s “fruITion” (Potts 2008, p. 204):

  1. If the organization manages its investments well then it is likely that the most appropriate technology will be selected.

  2. The organization should assign an executive accountability for maximizing the total value the company creates by its internal investments in change.

This leads to the Alignment phase.

The Alignment Phase

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p.34):

  1. Never under estimate the pace (of change) of the Corporate Strategy.

  2. The strategy has to be compatible that stakeholders change their minds.

  3. Build the IT strategy on a promise and not on aims.

  4. If the IT strategy is organized around solving a particular problem, then it is a necessity that the IT strategy solves the problem.

  5. Are the persons who develops and articulates the strategy (strategists) game players?

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p. 44):

  1. If the business side of the organization perceives the IT department as an external supplier then it is likely that the IT department and the CIO can’t influence the corporate strategy.

  2. Different kinds of strategies needs different kinds of strategists.

  3. The CIO should know his relative strengths and weaknesses when it comes to analysis and synthesis. In a strategy it is the synthesis part that is the most important thing to handle.

  4. If the IT department or organization (enterprise) have issues with identifying what value the IT brings to the organization then it is likely that the organization (enterprise) experience wider business related problems.

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p. 61):

  1. A corporate strategy that is focused on exploiting IT is focused on value, money and organization. The corporate strategy is not focusing on technology.

  2. The directors of a company is an independent community that adds value to the company.

  3. Value is defined as a portfolio of measures and types.

  4. The “business side” of an organization will in many cases assume the money the enterprise is spending on IT is a random number.

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p.124):

  1. Each stakeholder in a strategy has something distinctive to offer.

  2. Language and communications are critical to a strategies success.

  3. The concept of theoretical, practical and abstraction depends on the audience. The strategy should be articulated and aligned to the audience.

  4. People in organizations develops the projects rather fine but they tend not to make the most out of the projects when the projects have been implemented.

This leads to the value adding phase.

The Value Adding Phase

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p. 70):

  1. Many relationships are based on perceptions and high profile characteristics.

  2. The business side of the organization expects service and therefore should service levels between the IT department as a supplier and the customers be negotiated and incorporated into the strategy.

  3. The corporate strategy is about numbers. The focus of the IT strategy should be the same.

  4. Often there is a gap between those in the enterprise who adds value and those who spends the value. Is that also the case for the IT strategy?

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p. 159):

  1. The CIO (or the Coherency Architect) should make use of color coding to distinguish the business investments from the IT investments.

  2. The CIO (or the Coherency Architect) should prove that looking and managing the IT investment as something apart from the business investment isn’t sufficient.

  3. The CIO (or the Coherency Architect) should show that the strategic projects aren’t necessary those projects that aggregate the highest ROI.

  4. Explorer the cause and effect with of IT investments and business investements.

This leads to the change management phase.

The Change Management Phase

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p.72):

  1. When changes occur (as it will with the implementation of a new strategy) then the change process will also impact the employees (and managers) personal life.

  2. Numbers is a dispassionate way to analyze the strategic landscape with. It should include what the CIO and the enterprise knows and doesn’t know.

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p.81):

  1. The IT strategy has to be articulated in an iterative approach.

  2. Look at the numbers in the budget and evaluate if they speak for themselves.

  3. The CIO (or the Coherency Architect) has to explore how the company budgets , manages, and measures business change that comes through IT related projects.

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p.175):

  1. The CIO (or Coherency Architect) has to cause other people to change.

  2. The CIO should know what he would die in the ditch for.

  3. The business side of the organization often experience the IT side of the organization as being “promising a lot and never keeps the promises and it doesn’t care about the business side”.

  4. 100% alignment among strategies can be dangerous and it occurs rarely that the strategies are 100% aligned.

  5. The future role of the CIO is not assured.

  6. The CIO or Coherency Architect has to understand that there are competencies else where in the enterprise that is in duplication of the those competencies that are in the IT department.

  7. The new strategy for IT demands a new operation model.

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p.180):

  1. Strategists deal only in success and so should the CIO and the Coherency Architect.

  2. It can be hard for the CIO and the Coherency Architect to challenge the orthodoxies of the organization.

  3. If the CIO will not cross the bridge then let someone else take care of the investments.

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p.182):

  1. Leading strategy can be a lonely job.

  2. The over all focus of a strategy is about winning. If the CIO or the Coherency Architect is not committed 100% to achieving the strategy then it is not really a strategy.

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p.191):

  1. Set down your Promise, Principles and Tactics for the key stakeholders to explore and ratify.

  2. The stakeholders wants to see the combination of ideas in relation to the organizational system.

  3. The strategy can look like the obvious but it is important that the CIO or Coherency Architect emphasize that the strategy isn’t applied.

  4. The CIO or Coherency Architect should test the best practice of the industry.

  5. The strategy is what the CIO or Coherency Architect does (de facto strategy).

This leads to the implementation phase.

The Implementation Phase

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p.96):

  1. Use the “Promise, Principles and Tactics” framework while the strategy is in the articulation process and when it is about to become executed.

  2. The “Promise and Principles are the stabile core of the strategy. Tactics are more fluent or adaptable when it comes to events.

  3. Address each of the stakeholders individually (preferable personally) before the stakeholders are addressed as a group.

  4. Lead the execution of a strategy don’t manage it.

  5. When it comes to the investigation of IT investments then start with identifying value and then work backwards. When using a spreadsheet then the focus should be on columns and not on rows. This should help create the overview that is needed (according to Potts).

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p.103):

  1. The strategist (CIO) is the embodiment of the strategy.

  2. Organize the collaboration around one set of numbers and strategic themes; however each person who works with the strategy should be given the opportunity to have an influence on that part of the strategy that they work with.

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p.115):

  1. A relationship is owned by two people.

  2. Experimenting with the numbers (in the budget) can uncover a new understanding of the problem.

  3. The CIO (or Coherency Architect) should make use of a bottom up value portfolio.

  4. The CIO (or the Coherency Architect) should evaluate the investment strategy to sparkle a discussion on what priorities the organization (enterprise) has.

  5. The Coherency Architect should be focusing on the exposing the scenarios for what will happen if the investment strategy is changed.

This section is based on the definitions that Potts deals with in his work “FruITion” (Potts 2008, p.134):

  1. Strategy is essential about options and opportunities and it is not about being right.

  2. Take the lessons for what didn’t work as expected.

  3. The relationships that people builds are influenced of previous events and relationships.

  4. Look for the subtleties in the responses of the stakeholders.

Types of Managers

Potts presents the model (illustration 1) that serves as a compass for characterizing managers within the organization. Note it is a compass and most managers aren’t purely technical, purely operational, purely environmental or for that matter purely organizational.

Pott's View on Managers
Potts's View on Managers.

The operational manager focuses on execution and internal processes.

The environmental manager focuses on how the strategy’s external context.

The technical manager focuses on specifications, technologies and products/services etc.

The organizational manager focuses on organization models, cultures, structure, internal politics and sourcing.

That leads to the conclusion.


The Coherency Architect should be aware of that there are various ways to develop and articulate an IT strategy. Potts approach is rather clear and can in many ways be considered as a practical approach to articulate an IT strategy. Potts approach can be considered an alternative approach to IT strategy and it can be used to challenge the “industry orthodoxies” which in itself can create a competitive advantage.

The Coherency Architect has to understand how an IT strategy is and how the artifact can be produced if it doesn’t exist in an enterprise already and that makes the concept of the IUT strategy rather important to understand and challenge.


Potts, C., 2008. fruITion: Creating the Ultimate Corporate Strategy for Information Technology illustrated edition., Technics Publications, LLC.

Download the paper her (articulation_of_the_IT_strateg.).

Business Models: From a Coherency Architect’s Point of View.

Concept for a Business Model

When an organization implements an EA program and a Coherency Management program then it will eventually lead to changes in the enterprise. The change in the enterprise will eventually lead to changes in the business model.
The Coherency Architect should know of how the concepts of Business Models since they are some of the core concepts of the corporate strategy. The corporate strategy is the basis for developing and articulating the IT strategy. The corporate strategy and the IT strategy are two components of Enterprise Architecture. Enterprise Architecture is the foundation for working with Coherency Management.

Business Models in a context
Context of the Business Model

The Business Model in Context

There are many different perspectives that can be applied to the understanding of a business model and how the business model interacts with the company and the corporate strategy.
In illustration I argue that the Business Models evolves and eventually drives the Corporate Strategy (Weill & Vitale 2001) & (Seddon & Lewis 2003).
In the other hand there it can be argued that there is some overlap between the business model and the way the business strategy. The business strategy differs from the business model by taking the competition into consideration and how to enable a competitive advantage compared to the other actors at the industry.
This leads to an examination of the business model.

Elements of a Business Model

The business model includes a focus on creating value for the customers, revenue generation, cost estimation of service or product, distribution of the product. The business model has to emphasize how the specific product or service creates value.
The business model consist of four perspectives of which the above mentioned elements can be organized around:
1)    Infrastructure that deals with the core capabilities that are needed to produce the service or the product needed.
2)    Offering which is the value proposition. The value proposition is the value which the product or service gives the customers.
3)    Customers which deals with the target customers or audience the product or service. There to the distribution channel which basically is how the service or product is provided to the customers. The last element in this section is customer relationship which is the link between the customer and the company.
4)    Finances deals with the cost structure and the revenue that needs to be generated to finance the production of the service.


Weill, P. & Vitale, M., 2001. Place to Space: Migrating to Ebusiness Models 1st ed., Harvard Business Press.

You can download this paper here (Business Models: From a Coherency Architect’s Point of View.).

The New Age of Management: The Focus on Coherency Management!

The Development of the Organizations:

As you know that the organizations have evolved over time from once in the 19th century where the organizations (companies etc.) where small and insufficient. The organizations in the United States were of the size of 1 – 4 employees who were not selected on their ability but through their social network.

The 20th century formed organizations and created tendencies and pressures in the market that demanded that the organizations had to adapt to create the goods of a high quality for a low price so new markets could be reached. The 20th century introduced a scientific approach to management which was introduced by Frederick W. Taylor. This approach led to the creation of Taylorism and the core principle of Taylorism was to eliminate ineffective work processes.

This led to the construction of a management paradigm which has led to the foundation of the current management approach for the organizations.

Today we see organizations that are multinational or global and these have thousands if not hundreds of thousands of employees e.g., International Business Machines, Ford Motors, Microsoft, Google etc.

All of these works with a specific organizational design typically these have been hierarchical and this has led to specialization, productions increase, profit maximization etc.; however since the end of the production economy by this I mean the economy which was dominated by companies that produced physical products e.g., Cars (Ford). The Western economies evolved from focusing on physical products into providing services and later to focus on how to produce knowledge. The knowledge economy is characterized by the employees are those who are the asset. Their knowledge is the asset which is used to create products and services; however the products and the services are normally produced or provided by a different company in the third world e.g., India, China, Vietnam or Indonesia. Since the employees are the most valued asset then the goal is to make sure that the employees don’t leave the organization and enable them to create more creative and sustainable solutions of which the organization will be able to capitalize on.

This leads us to the evolution of the concept of management.

The Evolution of Management:

Management is defined as:

“Management is the art to getting things done through people” – Mary Parker Follet (Barret 2003, p. 51).

Management has evolved over time like the organizations. There have been several views on how to manage organizations; however this blog post will only deal with what a Coherency Architect should conclude to be relevant.

As mentioned before then there are the first form of structured management is the Taylorism (as mentioned under Scientific Management). This form of management insufficient in the knowledge economy since knowledge workers needs other forms of stimulation than monetary incentives and written orders to perform.

Naturally there was a reaction to the Taylorist approach. This happened when the Japanese companies introduced cheaper products and of superior qualitative which meant that the Western companies had evaluate the way they managed and motivated their employees.

Since the 1970s have the Western companies in one way or the other tried to imitate Japanese companies by developing management and quality systems like Six Sigma, LEAN and Toyota Production System. The reason for why the Western companies haven’t been successful is that they so far have simplified the systemic approach the Japanese makes use of.

The Japanese have a very different approach than Western companies when it comes to management and motivation. First of all the Japanese companies make use of a bottom up approach when it comes to how the organization articulate and implement their strategies. Second of all the Japanese companies have been known for motivating their employees by making them proud of their work and putting an honor in quality. Third of all the Japanese companies are known for lifetime employment which means that they commit themselves to keep the employees employed and as a result of this they expect a higher degree of loyalty and commitment.

The IT waves in the 90s and early 2000s led to leadership and motivation; however to many organizations (typically IT related organizations) didn’t realize how to enable more productivity or for that matter crystallize better products by applying the new forms of leadership. As a result of that many of the organizations failed to survive the IT bobble which proved that to many organizations didn’t have the appeal of the market to survive or they simply didn’t understand their Enterprise Architecture. If these organizations had understood their Enterprise Architecture then a lot of them would have been able to scale the need of their consumption of resources and as result they would have survived.

The new paradigm is that the employees are the asset of the organizations and these should be encouraged to enable them to develop their own products.

Coherency Management:

All organizations have an architecture regardless if members of the organizations are aware of it or not (Doucet et al.).

Coherency Management then deals with how the organization can gain advantages by using Enterprise Architecture. This is done by maturing the organization by diffusing the knowledge of Coherency Management and the by applying the tools from Enterprise Architecture to other parts of the organization. This diffusion needs to be build upon the idea that these have to be embedded in the business processes and continuously be applied with the maturity of the Enterprise Architecture.

In many ways the concept of Enterprise Architecture is based on the same paradigm as the management systems of the 20th century which is defined as structuralism and according to Doucet (Doucet et al., 2009) Coherency Management and the underlying tools such as Enterprise Architecture are typically defused by the IT department to the rest of the organization. This is typically done by the Chief Information Officer who anchor the paradigm in the middle and top management of the organization and gives the members of the IT department the “necessary protection” to enable change within the organization.

Therefore it is safe to assume that the Coherency Management approach will lead to a top down approach as it was the case for many other Western styled organizations. This might lead to the conclusion that Coherency Management in some way will be in a different paradigm than those tools which are suggested by Gary Hamel. However Coherency Management do also have elements which needs to be diffused via the bottom up approach and it has to be embedded into the organizational culture and employees with many different backgrounds have to apply their own views onto the concepts of Enterprise Architecture.

When this come to the consideration of Coherency Management then the drive to implement the concepts of Coherency Management and Enterprise Architecture is defining what paradigm to make use of. If Coherency Management is build upon the idea that the employees should help define the framework and tools the Coherency Management Office will apply in the various processes in the organization. In the other hand quite a few people are scared of change and change anchored in the hands of employees won’t necessary led to change or innovation like Henry Ford mentions in relation the innovation of the mass produced car: “If I had asked them then they would have asked for faster horses”. Therefore should the Coherency Architect keep in mind that the only way to enable change in an organization is to influence the organization culture. The culture can be changed in many ways by the tools of many different paradigms.

In this article I will however only deal with a few frameworks for change.

The first framework is the structuralist approach which where Kotter’s framework will fit into. John P. Kotter presents in his article “Why Change Fails” and this could be supplemented by Kurt Lewin’s unfreeze, move and freeze approach.

The second framework is the interpretive paradigm where the organization constructs some form of “internal” economy where the members of the organization can influence the projects which the organizations initiates. This is done by establishing a form of stock exchange where all the members can invest a fictional amount of company-money to found the projects.

The organizations that adapt this framework needs a strong Enterprise Architecture and move towards Coherency Management; otherwise will the entire change effort be in wane.

The third framework is based on the idea that the employees themselves should be able to choose their leaders and regulate their own production schedules etc.. This kind of coordination needs like the second framework a strong focus on their Enterprise Architecture and thereby also on Coherency Management to assist the employees and the management with keeping the organization on track.

The New Age of Management: A Focus on Coherency Management!$

Architecture Maturity

Coherency Management is about gaining agility, assurance and alignment and these gains are closely linked to the maturity state of the architecture of the organization. All organizations have an architecture the question is how matured it is.

It is therefore desirable for most organizations to one way or the other to identify, mature and monitor the process. Before the identification takes place then the various characteristics of the architectures have to be dealt with.

The Architectures

In this section I will shortly deal with the architectures that are presented by Doucet et al. (Doucet et al. 2009)

The architecture that hasn’t been exposed to Enterprise Architecture and as a result of this the management or other actors in the organization are not aware of how the organization, its processes and its various layers are designed and interacts. This includes that the organizations isn’t aware of how their IT is used to support the various business processes.

The Foundation Architecture is an architecture that has been exposed to Enterprise Architecture; however this has only been applied for the IT side of the organization to bridge the gap between business processes and IT. In this state the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the IT department has a great influence on how the Coherency Management tools are applied though this a downside and that is that the rest of the organization rarely understands the idea of Enterprise Architecture.

The Extended Architecture is bit more mature in the context of applying Enterprise Architecture. In context this means that other departments in the organization have identified that Enterprise Architecture tools can be made use of to improve the ability of the organization. In relation to who is in charge for the Coherency Management implementation then it is likely that this has passed from the CIO.

The Embedded Architecture is the so far the most mature level an organization can reach by applying Enterprise Architecture tools and change management. This means that the entire organization make use of Enterprise Architecture tools identify, initiate and implement new processes. This means that the organization has enforced a framework that has to be taken into consideration when new processes have been applied.

In addition to the above mentioned architectures the Balanced Architecture (Doucet et al 2009 p. 224) can be added. This is a future state within the Coherency Management concept.

I will therefore discuss the tools that can be applied.

Why Should Architectures be Matured?

When an architecture matures then the organizations that make use of them also become more agile and better in the sense that the organization easily can implement new processes, flows, systems etc.

This means that the organization can gain value for its stakeholders if the organization apply Enterprise Architecture tools to mature its architecture.

The Tools

There are several tools that can be applied to identify and monitor the state of the organization architecture. I have chosen to make use of Barnard & Grasso (Doucet et al. 2009) that have written a chapter which deals with how Enterprise Architecture can be matured.

According to Barnard & Grasso then these factors are useful to measure:

  • Enterprise Budget & Procurement Strategy.

  • Strategic Governance.

  • Extended Enterprise Architecture Architecture Results.

  • Extended Enterprise Architecture Developments.

  • Extended Architecture Program Office.

  • Business Units Involvement.

  • Executive Management Involvement.

  • Extended Enterprise Involvement.

  • Business & Technology Strategy Alignment.

The above mentioned indicators can be used to identify on what state the organization is on. If the organization is pre-dominantly in the un-mature part of the scale e.g., that the organization has an un-mature architecture. If the organization in any way has indicators that indicates that the organization is on a better level than the sublevel then the Coherency Architect should assume that the organization is maturing its architecture (perhaps implicitly).

There are methods that can be used to mature the architecture. For this the EAAM approach can made use of. The EAMM approach deals with how the Coherency Architect can measure and audit the architecture of the organization.


As with all plans then it is a necessity to work with auditing and control which deals with controlling if the various goals used in the EA programs have been realized. This process is mandatory for every Enterprise Architecture project as it is for every strategic approach.

For this an Enterprise Architecture Audit Program should be established. According to Barnard & Grasso there are to forms for such a program. The first form is the light edition that consist of one to two persons who audit the EA programs in the organization. The analysis of the organization is build upon a superficial (high impact) analysis. The other is the advanced program where two to five persons go through a complete analysis of the EA program.

Coherency Maturity MindMap
Coherency Maturity MindMaps


Gary Doucet et al., Coherency Management: Architecting the Enterprise for Alignment, Agility and Assurance (International Enterprise Architecture Institute, 2009).

Further Reading

Extended Enterprise Architecture Model (E2AMM v.2.0) (