Tag Archives: Sense Making

The Architecture Crystal Ball: Predictions for 2012

I have had the opportunity to read several documents containing estimations on what the chief architects and CIOs should expect of the concept of Enterprise Architecture in 2012.

As a result I have made some thoughts of my own, and my thoughts have been delimited to what could happen in Scandinavia. There are reasons for when or where the organization should develop.

Most of the articles that I have read in order to identify the potential development of Enterprise Architecture in 2012 were developed by American organizations and my assumption is that American organizations usually apply an American approach to dealing with problems at hand, and as a result my view might differ quite a bit from the trend analysis that organizations like IBM, Gartner Incorporated, The Open Group, Microsoft or other organizations might have articulated.

Below I have defined four areas that organizations will invest their resources into.

Frameworks and Models

  • CIOs, it-management and the chief architect have discovered that it is unlikely that they will gain a total overview of all systems available in the enterprise and they will focus on developing a few key models.

  • The chief architects will continue investing time and effort into deployment of frameworks, but the chief architects would still have to mix “best of breed” from the frameworks in order to implement the enterprise architecture program.

Investments Planning and Governance

  • Medium and major organizations will begin to add their IT investments to their Enterprise Architecture models, since it is presumable that this would add value to the decision platforms.

  • The investment planning will still be focused on the IT-spending and only to some degree on how information technology takes part of add value to the business.

Technology Foresight

  • The Enterprise Architecture programs will still be IT-centric; however the structured methodology for collecting data about the enterprise architecture will provide the chief architects with the opportunity to impact the IT – strategy, and as such they could have a chance to evolve the enterprise architecture program.

  • The Enterprise Architecture programs will be used in order to define strategic approaches to what sort of technologies that make sense to invest in. As such the chief architect can gain a leading role in articulating the it-strategy. In order to do so the chief architect would enable a platform where realistic scenarios for implementing technology in order to give the decision-makers a realistic insight on what they would have to deal with.

  • The debt and credit crisis will in 2012 impact the organizations in a way that increases the demand for a smarter usage of the information systems and technology platforms available. The smarter usage of information systems demands an approach to information governance and reliable information.

Principles, Standards and Methodology

  • Organizations will find out that without principles for how to deal with different perspectives of developing their IT architecture, they will not be able to enforce the desired behavior. As a result organizations will invest more time in articulating principles.

  • EA assurance for the IT architecture will be a hot topic during 2012, and the organizations will eventually initiate projects that will focus on the articulation of principles based upon criteria like when does the principle apply, when can the developers differ from the principles, when should the principle be updated and who is responsible for updating the standard?

  • Standardization will likewise become a dominant topic, and many organizations will initiate projects that supports the development of it-projects enhances customer experience (platform independent and mobile). Management of standards are vital in order to ensure the development of these projects since it it is vital to ensure the data export of data.

Conclusion

Due to the crisis most organizations tries to reduce costs and deliver a better value proposition to its customers. Most organizations can save money through standardization of the their IT-architecture; however the decision-makers would have to know how to deal with gaining information of how the IT-architecture works, how it can be simplified (enhancing speed of development) and how it can be closer aligned with the business processes.

For this, enterprise architecture is essential and that is how I see the usage of enterprise architecture in Scandinavia in year 2012.

Week 22 Enterprise Architecture Summer Camp (Day 2)

This blog post deals with the second and final day of the summer school dealing with Enterprise Architecture. The tagline for the summer school is “Scandinavian Design and Oblique Angles”.

The day was characterized as a setup that was dominated by companies and industry professionals who presented topics of a wide variety of topics.

A Next-Generation EA Approach to Modeling the Firm using Capability Sets

John Gotze has in cooperation with Pat Turner written a paper on how to use capability sets in order to make Enterprise Architecture to work, how to sell Enterprise Architecture and what the value of Enterprise Architecture is all about.

The primary problem that the paper is about to answer is what capabilities the enterprise can get and how it can enhance it through shared capabilities.

John Gotze emphasized that one of the problems with the model that Ross and Weill (2006) proposed for Enterprise Architecture is based on that they don’t give a clue on what is their platform for execution and what is a part of the foundation platform.

John Gotze defines a capability as “an Ability or Expertise upon which that the Enterprise relies to fulfill its core functions”. Likewise does Gotze and Turner define an enterprise capability as “A capability that pervades across the whole of the enterprise”.

According to John Gotze, one organization that applies enterprise capabilities, is the U.S. Army. An example could be the tagline “one army”. With this in mind John Gotze made a reference to David A. Clark’s book on world poverty that deals with how to ensure capabilities among other things.

John Gotze later said that a capability set is directly coupled to the execution of the various processes. The second case that John Gotze presented was the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. The agency should have one of the biggest Enterprise Architecture programs that John Gotze has ever seen and as such they have articulated a five year plan and roadmaps on how to achieve a better architecture.

In order to achieve enterprise capabilities for the enterprise John Gotze and Pat Turner has developed a rather comprehensive framework in order to achieve a better enterprise.

  • A big part of the value of enterprise architecture program can be traced to the capabilities that the program can aid the enterprise with.
  • The paper investigates case studies on how Enterprise Architecture could generate “enterprise capabilities”.
  • An academic investigation of Enterprise Architecture is all about and how “competitive advantages” can be achieved through the implementation of a Enterprise Architecture program.

Vestas Wind Systems – Windy Architectures

The keynote speaker is Troels Fleckenstein who is Vice President at Vestas Wind Systems.

According to the keynote speaker all windmills from Vestas are equipped with technology that enable the windmills to communicate through the Internet with Vestas. Each of the Windmills communicate with Vestas 512 times yearly. This has created a large quantity of data that the corporation has to deal with in order to ensure maintenance of the windmills. Vestas hasn’t an Enterprise Architecture program, or at least that is what the speaker from Vestas said.

The keynote included a video on what Vestas is all about and Ditlev Engel appeared. Apparently Vestas has a slogan that they apply internally that is known as “people before megawatt” that as such means that Vestas doesn’t have HR-department but a department for people and culture (which I presume is pretty much the same). Vestas’ strategy is based upon that they believe they should be number one in wind energy. As such Vestas claims that 1/3 of all windmills sold on a global scale is produced by Vestas.

For Vestas the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of India represents the key markets due to the development of the various enterprises. Most likely are other countries in the BRIC group also of interest to Vestas Wind Systems.

Vestas has 15 locations around the world that develops on new products. Vestas produce nacelles in 15 locations, blades in 7 locations and towers in 2 locations and as such Vestas is able to deliver “Wind Power Plants” in eight regions of the world, or at least that is what the keynote speaker proclaimed.

Vestas’ current strategy is named the triple 15. The current corporate strategy goes to 2015 and they want to achieve a yearly revenue on 15% (currently it is 8.5%) and an EBIT (Earnings before interest and taxes) on 15%.

The keynote speaker presented the Vestas business model as titled it the strategy for empower the corporate strategy. With this approach in mind I am sure that Vestas applies an idea that is compatible with “Cybernetics paradigm”. Furthermore Vestas applies an approach they have titled “The Vestas’ High Five” that entails that energy should be competitive, predictable, independent, fast and clean. According to the keynote speaker the most important partners for Vestas are their customers. In other words Vestas would like to own the means of production of “wind energy” and thereby be able to set the price(s) for producing Windmills.

Vestas’ enterprise architecture team is located within the department for strategy and innovation and this is located in Vestas’ group IT. Apparently Vestas apply a model that includes four perspectives: 1) Innovation, 2) Roadmap, 3) Projects and last but not least 4) System Portfolio.

The Vestas’ Enterprise Architecture program is about “business and value adding activities”, or that is the opinion of the keynote speaker.

When working with enterprise architecture the keynote speaker presented the Vestas’ value management square, that most of all looks like a strategy map or balanced scorecard as Kaplan and Norton would define it.

“The way I see, we add value to the business is to have insight into what systems that the business would need” – Troels Fleckenstein (Week 22, 2011).

Vestas applies a framework that is known as the BSG-model in architecture. BSG stands for Business Service Group that is a sheet of paper detailing how the enterprise works. The documents details how the processes works in the enterprise. The BSGs are linked to the various enterprises processes in Vestas and as such the enterprise architects are working with modeling the architecture a long side the BSGs.

Besides the enterprise architects Vestas applies the title “domain architects” for individuals who have a specific knowledge on how the enterprise applies.

Vestas have made use of IBM, Accenture and other consultancies in order to develop their framework. In other words Vestas Wind Systems have developed a synthesis that hey apply in order to enable the systems.

According to the keynote speaker there aren’t any off-the-shelves process frameworks that Vestas was able to make use of.

“We are not such a box” – Troels Fleckenstein (Week 22, 2011).

Vestas applies Aris as a tool for modeling, but the keynote speaker has a rather controversial view on how the tool works which is represented in the quotation below:

“When speaking of Aris it is quite clear it has been developed by German engineers. It is not made for white people” – Troels Fleckenstein (Week 22, 2011).

Vestas’ IT fundamentals deals with providing fast prototyping, innovation lab, enabling agility, “show me – do it”, safeguard end-to-end transparency of business processes, partnering with the business and providing enterprise architecture to guarantee reliability.

It seems like the approach to Enterprise Architecture that Vestas makes use of, is dealing with communication on how the enterprise can deal with the problems and how the enterprise is able to deal with the problem.

When it comes to the focus on governance and advice Vestas have applied boards for processes, BPS community, Vestas Government and SteerCo where a representative from Group IT (and thereby a representative for the Enterprise Architecture group) is represented. The boards usually handles investments, strategy and innovation, program and projects. One of the many interesting things that Vestas works with in their Enterprise Architecture program is “the line of sight”.

“I’m not a particular big fan of frameworks since they tend to distract us from the communication side of EA and the value adding part of EA” – Troels Fleckenstein (Week 22, 2011).

While educating the enterprise architects Vestas applies an approach where they send their architects to Gartner summits and certification modules. However they haven’t made use of TOGAF or other approaches to Enterprise Architecture.

When Vestas works with IT forecasts they usually take in consultants from Gartner and other consultancies to give the various stakeholders in Group IT ideas on what kind of IT the enterprise should invest in.

Obviously Vestas experiences situations of when and where to break away from their own Enterprise Architecture standards. The way the keynote speaker presented the issue it seemed like that it is based on “intuition” and what the “business” defines as a necessity to cope with. The keynote speaker used an example from the implementation of the windmills and how the various committees dealt with the particular problem.

  • Vestas’ is a rather complex enterprise that have developed its own framework to deal with its architecture.
  • The Enterprise Architecture program is owned by the IT department, or at least it appeared that way while the VP presented the situation.
  • The IT and EA agents are represented in various investment and governance boards in Vestas Wind Systems.

Qualiware Enabling Positive Change

The CEO of Qualiware, Kuno Brodersen, acted as keynote speaker on knowledge management and modeling.

The keynote speaker was of the opinion that the modeling of the change processes is a vital key to success, since the model can help the decision makers and individuals in the enterprise to focus on particular areas of attention.

The keynote speaker was of the opinion that many modern enterprises shares the same view on how the management model. In Denmark most enterprises agrees upon that the Scandinavian management model is the best way to achieve.

A fundamental part of the Scandinavian management model. According to Kuno Brodersen, social capital is what enterprises gains when the social systems solves problems.

There are several factors that impacts the concept of social capital e.g. the individual factors, job factors, group factors, company factors.

In reality these factors have to be included when you measure enterprises and their ability to deal go beyond the expected approach to achieve their individual goals.

“The point of modeling tools is that knowledge from the individual actors in the enterprise are modeling and archived in the model” – Kuno Brodersen (Week 22, 2011).

While implementing the modeling tools it becomes a necessity to involve all of the employees, understand knowledge sharing, we have to focus to create transparent management systems and the system has to facilitate distribution of decision making.

It seemed like that CEO Kuno Brodersen was a bit skeptical about the Gartner Group and their approach to information technology and Enterprise Architecture, though he chose to apply one of their models in order to define the “new way of thinking” in Enterprise IT and Enterprise Architecture.

In the future it becomes a necessity to know how the social networks and the way people interact in social networks in order to facilitate knowledge sharing.

Technology trends will have an even greater impact on how knowledge sharing can be facilitated. In the future modeling software trends like the “Like” feature or comments on the various artifacts. Likewise will the concept of rating most likely be implemented in modern modeling tools.

Features from the social networks will in time be incorporated in to the modeling tools, or this is perspective that Kuno Brodersen presented. The reason for this is that it can be used as a form for “information filtering” and “quality insurance”.

“One of the best qualities of an Enterprise Architecture program is that the various models can be viewed by various stakeholders in the enterprise, and as such this can be used to define the enterprise ontology” – Kuno Brodersen (Week 22, 2011).

The QualiWare EA Framework is an organization of artifacts, but according to Kuno Brodersen, graduate students who are about to start writing on their master thesis could or should think on how the Enterprise Architecture framework represents the “social capital”, social networks, and social knowledge.

Kuno Brodersen presented the QualiWare analytics approach to artifacts and modeling that was build like a balanced scorecard that could be used in order to define how KPIs are aligned with the various processes. As such the data that should be represented in the QualiWare models should be collected from the data warehouses and business intelligence systems, this should add value to the platform for enterprise ontology. His approach to business intelligence and knowledge sharing, Kuno Brodersen, applied a rather positivistic approach and as such this seemed slightly in contrast to his initial approach on the Scandinavian management school; however he did emphasize that the business intelligence approach should be used with caution.

Gamification is “the new black” and it will become part of the modeling tools, or at least this is the views that Kuno Brodersen presented. E.g. Qualiware as a modeling tool has a “treasure hunt” game embedded in the modeling tool in order to train or motivate people in order to make people learn about the new models, processes and activities.

  • New tools are needed to document and deal with knowledge.
  • Enterprise ontology is a part of knowledge management.
  • In engaging the various stakeholders in learning more about the enterprise’s architecture the concept of gamification should be introduced into new products.

The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating

Olov Östberg was the keynote speaker. As such his presentation dealt with e-government and changing social and technological systems in Sweden.

In his presentation Olov Östberg showed dias that stated that only 18% of IT projects are delivered on time and that are succesfull and he put this in light of the Swedish approach to e-government.. Through time (about 300 years) the Swedish approach to government has resulted into very independent public agencies.

There have been different approaches in order to deal with the data that the Swedish government has collected over time. In the 90s and the early 2000s the focus was onto developing portals.

From his experience there are three levels of e-government that should be dealt with in the future. Government 1.0 is the classical approach, the second level is dealing with more communication and at some point slightly more openness and the third and last level deals with engaging the citizen as a co-creator.

The Swedish approach to e-government includes a rather liberal approach to how the local agencies handles its processes. As such it can become increasingly difficult to implement one approach to Enterprise Architecture. Likewise did the national authorities (the Swedish government) refused to install a national CIO, national roadmap or for that matter a national portal for data and information sharing.

Olov Östberg presented various initiatives on how the Swedish approach to e-government dealt with common problems like insufficient road maintenance, electricity etc.

“We have to realize that the foundation of Swedish society is changing.” – Olov Östberg.

Week 22 Enterprise Architecture Summer Camp

This blog post deals with first day at the summer camp for Enterprise Architecture in Week 22 that was held in Denmark at the IT University of Copenhagen. The participants were mostly students. The tagline for this event is “Scandinavian Design and Oblique Angles”. The summer school had five keynotes that mainly dealt with how Enterprise Architecture could be applied under various conditions like everything from contract negotiations to Enterprise Architecture in the arctic circle to the concept of developing models for an Enterprise Architecture program.

The Agile Standard Contract

Kasper Hoegsberg, a student at the e-business line at the IT University of Copenhagen, presented his views on how the public standard contract for IT purchases could be updated.

His reasons to start investigating with standard contracts are based on that the new project models are with in the sphere agile development which is a change from the old approach to the contracts that emphasized the old waterfall model. While conducting his project he found out that the current approach for developing a contract was to fill out 10 documents before the contract could be considered value.

According to Kasper Hoegsberg the Danish National IT and Telecom Agency tried to combine the waterfall approach and the agile approach to develop a system that doesn’t seem that particular smart. Hoegsberg referred to the British DSDM – Aterm contract framework and the Norwegian agile standard contract PS-2000 as examples that in his opinion could outmatch the current approach that the Danish National IT and Telecom Agency has applied.

According to Hoegsberg the focus of the Norwegian contract doesn’t include a particular methodology and as such only includes an agile contract.

In his opinion further studies on how to make better contracts for development and delivery can be developed.

Complexity and Enterprise Architecture

Peter Flemming Teunissen Sjoelin presented some of observations he had made during the time he worked with his master thesis. The presentation had the tagline “Complexity in Development of Models for Enterprise Architecture”. In the presentation Peter Flemming Teunissen Sjoelin explained the concept of complexity, Enterprise Architecture, knowledge management and the mad scientist syndrome.

The focus that Peter Flemming Teunissen Sjoelin applied was that repositories, process models and a like are only representations of reality. The ideas presented in the presentation was based on the concept that the students and later on the future Enterprise Architects should thinking that social-constructivist paradigm might aid them with the investigation of how the various stakeholders in the enterprises thinks and acts.

  • Probe your view of the things.
  • Act upon the stakeholders suggestions.
  • Keep your models simple, you shouldn’t assume that your models or repositories can be understood by all of the stakeholders.
  • Models can’t contain reality. Models are just simplified representations of how the world works.

Value Estimation of Enterprise Architecture

Mikkel S. Holst and Tue W. Steensen works with their master thesis that deals with the value estimation of Enterprise Architecture. Their hypothesis is “How Enterprise Architecture becomes successful” and as such they base that further three hypothesis on how the Enterprise Architecture program can be aligned with the corporate strategy and corporate process.

Their theoretical approach to their master thesis has been based on Ross & Weill, Hoogervorst, Kaplan and Norton and many others.

Their master thesis includes three cases studies that the two students are conducting. Two of the case studies are within the public sector and one is the private sector.

In their approach to explore the value of Enterprise Architecture the students have made use of an article by Toomas Tamm et al. from 2011.

John Gotze advised the students to investigate how to “show the value” of the Enterprise Architecture program and how this impacts the organization. The two students plan to hand in their master thesis in August 2011.

Systems Thinking for Health – IT

The two students Linda Praestholm and Rasmus Frost have a loosely coupled approach to collaboration on the topic systems thinking in the public sector, or what is to be known as “Health – IT”.

The two students chose to work with the National Electronic Patient Journal systems and how these where implemented in the capital region of Denmark.

According to Linda Praestholm who have worked with Enterprise Architecture from a positivistic approach and she has come to conclusion that EA is a driver for making rational decisions, being more effective and effectiveness. As such these are the goals for the management and governance method for the enterprise.

Their investigation have included the Hilleroed Hospital, The Kingdom Hospital (Rigshospitalet) and Bisbebjerg Hospital. Their approach to Enterprise Architecture has mainly been based on that the various hospitals should have implemented new business processes in order to achieve some synergies with IT.

Soeren Duus advised the students to investigate what particular perspective to put onto their ideas of what Enterprise Architecture is all about and how it has been applied, or how it could be applied in order to achieve some of the goals that the regions have defined for the various hospitals.

Enterprise Architecture on Greenland (Arctic Architecture)

The three students Lars C. Meden, Soeren Tams and Fredrik Krog have visited Greenland in order to collect data on how to deal with the concept of Enterprise Architecture in a country that is significantly different from the industrialized part of the world. The focus of their thesis has been on how to improve the service the public sector provides to the population on Greenland.

The situation on Greenland includes the focus on few resources e.g., few employees and economy, a big diversity between the organizations and a big IT architecture related diversity.

According to the three students the autonomous government of Greenland should have the resources to implement a functional approach to Enterprise Architecture.

One of the challenges in governing Greenland is that it very expensive for the population to travel from one part of Greenland to the other, and likewise does it make communication among the various local authorities rather difficult. As a result of this the autonomous government of Greenland has started a process of implementing video conferencing.

The students focused on how to deal with the municipalities of Greenland and how their particular strategies could be dealt with through applying Enterprise Architecture.

Another barrier for implementation of Enterprise Architecture on Greenland is the lack of a competent local workforce. If the public sector on Greenland has to be able to identify how the various artifacts and as such it doesn’t seem like the local workforce have access to the particular education, or training in the moment. The three students questioned the suitability of implementing an Enterprise Architecture program across the various organizations in the Greenlandic public sector due to the resistance among the local organizations, that might feel that their independence is threatened by a centralized approach to Enterprise Architecture.

Holistic Management in a Context of Enterprise IT Management and Organizational Leadership

An Approach to Sense Making and Intelligent Business

There are probably many different ways to gain sense in each of the many different enterprises and organizations across the planet. This particular paper investigates one particular approach question the validity of the data and the selected approaches to articulate strategies and plans. This should give you (the reader) an idea on how to develop better plans that in turn would give the enterprise a better system.

In order to make proper decisions on how to develop the enterprise it becomes a necessity for the enterprise to deal with the question of sense making. How does the specialists and systems that have been applied in order to analyze data from the enterprise’s environment? How does the systems adapt to the trends the data indicates might be developing? How do the specialists question and tests the data they have collected and analyzed?

The three step approach to organizational learning and data collection is in its origin based on Weick’s approach, though I’ve taken some liberty in order to create a synthesis in order to specify the ideas that Weick presented in his book (Making Sense of the Organization, 2000) to an Enterprise Architecture approach in order to enable enterprises with crystallizing competitive advantages. By crystallizing competitive advantages the enterprises could avoid situations that in other cases would have forced out of business. This leads to the first part of the process that Karl Weick introduced in his book.

Scanning for Data

It is of importance of all enterprises to scan its environment in order to gain an understanding of how the stakeholders (competitors, suppliers, government etc.) will be acting in potential future scenario. This is usually a rather good component in articulating a corporate strategy and all of the subsequent strategies like the IT strategy, financial strategy, organization planning etc.

The scanning process includes the situation for the internal environment and for the external environment. The internal environment consists of an other set of stakeholders than with the external environment, but these are just as important. Likewise is the internal environment connected to the the external environment.

The data is usually based on several different sources and as such the data that the specialists and systems collects are of different qualities and as such the data and their sources have to be questioned. The questioning is in a way a process to ensure that the specialists who collects the data should question the ways they identify the data and how to be able to deal with the way the data is analyzed. This is discussed in detail in the interpretation.

Interpretation

While analyzing the data the specialists works with a validation technique that in turn tries to investigate how or if the enterprise can make use of the data. The interpretation is likewise a fundamental element in the way the data is applied in the strategy development process.

The interpretation can be used to ensure that the strategies could be easier to implement, and as such the strategies could lead to the desired state of the enterprise. As such the focus of the planning would have to avoid what Mintzberg (Mintzbegr 2009) defines as the planning school, that is characterized by applying a lot of resources to the articulation of planning but as such it usually emphasize planning too much and implementation too little.

Learning

The specialists and the systems would have to learn from the articulated strategies, otherwise will they fail in adapting to the new situations of the environment that they analyze.

The learning process is likely the most important step of the entire process since the enterprise’s specialists would have to adapt their analytical models to understand how the environment.

The result of the learning phase is in itself a form of knowledge sharing and it impacts the framework of how the enterprise operates.

Learning and knowledge sharing are two sides of the same issue and as such the specialists and decision makers have to think in how to transfer the knowledge to one another. For this a specialized repository can be applied. In order to share knowledge across the enterprise the individuals would have to a common understanding of what knowledge is about and who to interact within in order to gain access to the information and knowledge that they assume they would need in order to make better decisions and better plans for how the enterprise can gain competitive advantages.

In order to gan a further understanding of how the enterprise can create value through planning it becomes a necessity that the cycle is documented and the cycle is transparent for all of the stakeholders that interacts with top level planning.

The Cycle

The process is cyclic and that is essential that it is build upon a cyclic structure in order to the specialists to make their predictions more reliable. More reliable plans can be used by the decision makers to enable the enterprise to achieve its goals.

Furthermore can cycle be enhanced with the enterprise, if an Enterprise Architecture Program is established and that the decision makers makes use of the data that the Enterprise Architecture program has been able to produce.

The illustration below shows how the enterprises can make use of the sense making process to achieve a more coherent, better aligned and more agile enterprise. As it is illustrated the Enterprise Architecture Program is used to enable the decision makers to align the various conceptual sections of the enterprise. In the diagram below there are three conceptual sections of the enterprise. The decision makers articulate a strategy.

The experienced reader would note that the definition of what Enterprise Architecture impacts is derived form the EA3 Cube framework that Bernard (2005) proposed. The approach is based on the concept of Enterprise Engineering (Sjoelin 2011a) and as such it is the opinion of the author that the focus of the .

Assessing the Business Processes

The chief architect should evaluate the business processes, and it is a necessity to evaluate the primary business processes, business model/operating model (Ross & Weil 2009, Ross et al. 2006, Ross & Weill 2004, Finkelstein 2006) and support processes (Porter 1985).

In this particular paper the concept of primary processes is defined on what processes that are essential in order for the enterprise to deliver value to its customers. The chief architect should naturally apply a multi perspective analysis method to understand the underlying principles of the enterprise and its social systems. For this the chief architect and his associates (the enterprise architects, solution architects, business architects) should investigate the operating model and business model of the enterprise in order to gain an understanding of how the enterprise’s internal environment will change in the near future. The scanning of the internal environment should uncover the processes that aren’t fully supported by IT and the processes of which the enterprise would be able to identify a series of projects that could change the enterprise to a desired and more competitive enterprise.

The chief architect or one of his or her associates have identified which of the business processes that do support the business in achieving its goals. He or she would have to go into a process of identifying those processes that would have to be obliterated (Hammer 2000) (re-designed completely). In the process the chief architect and associates would have to re-thing the support processes in order to avoid the pitfalls of an unstructured and incoherent enterprise architecture.

The chief architect and his associates would have investigate how the various processes could be grouped and how the various projects can be implemented in order for the enterprise to harvest synergy. The primary business processes should be organized into “clusters” along side the support processes that clearly can be associated with each of the primary processes and as it has been mentioned earlier in this paper it is a necessity to organize the various business relates activities and processes in order to maximize the potential synergies. However there are some pitfalls that the chief architect and his associates might fall into for example is complexity a factor that can’t be ignored. The more complex a particular segment or domain of the enterprise is the more likely it is that the particular system in the enterprise can’t be generalized into an “Enterprise-Wide” platform, or rather the meaning of doing so is lesser relevant in the sense of information systems design.

Connect the Business Processes and the Information Systems

The chief architect and his associated would have to apply a structured methodology in order to ensure that the enterprise is able to establish and understand how the enterprise and its underlying architecture works. In this paper the author assume that this can be done through the establishment of a formal group that is in charge of investigating and defining the enterprise’s architecture. The method can be based on formal Enterprise Architecture framework and as such be a part of the structured methodology that the decision takers decides to apply.

The author’s definition of Enterprise Architecture is:

Enterprise Architecture is a set of principles, standards and methods for achieving informed governance. The models derived from the standards and methods have an impact on how the enterprise is able to align each of the elements of the enterprise with one another. The alignment will enable enterprise governance and agility for adaption and assurance.” – Peter F. T. Sjoelin (2011a)

It is the author’s opinion that the framework is the set of standards that dictates how the various artifacts that would be documented and stored in the repository are to be defined. In other words the framework is alpha – omega in order lay the foundation for an enterprise ontology (Dietz 2006, Bernard 2005, Hoogervorst 2009).

The framework could eventually give the chief architect the advantage of winning over stakeholders that are skeptical towards the concept of Enterprise Architecture, and likewise does the author assume that the framework would have a significant impact on the value of the repository that contains the descriptions of the artifacts. The value is derived from how well the various stakeholders in the enterprise are able to connect to the repository and understand the value of these.

As earlier mentioned the author expressed his views on that business processes and IT rarely generates synergies due to the lack of obliteration of processes that were designed for the pre-computer and Internet age. It is necessity for the chief architect and his associates to investigate the enterprise’s current usage of information technology and information systems. The chief architect and his associates should be working with a methodology that documents the various information systems, platforms, applications, devices that the enterprise applies in order to provide the various stakeholders (executives, middle managers and employees) the proper information in order to make them understand how the social system works. The chief architect would have to make sure that the business processes and the information systems are evaluated before and after the change process has been initiated in order to give the decision makers the best possible overview of how the enterprise has changed after the implementation of the new approach to business processes and information systems.

It is the opinion of the author that in order to ensure that the enterprise would be able to gain an advantage in governance by focusing on the enterprise’s approach to investing in its technology, assets, people and systems (Potts 2008). The investment process is essentially the embodiment of both the corporate strategy, the IT strategy, the financial strategy etc. After the chief architect and his associates have worked with their analysis of the enterprise’s corporate strategy it is almost certain that a road map should be articulated so the focus could be shared among the members of the Enterprise Architecture group and later on among the various decision makers in the particular enterprise.

It is the author’s opinion that the investment approach would have to be connected with the the enterprise’s program management. It will become a necessity for the enterprise to deal with its approach to enterprise investments and program management since it is the decision makers who are responsible for the allocation of resources to the projects and systems that the enterprise are able to invest in the projects that will change the enterprise. According to Bernard the the enterprise would have to change by the many different projects alter and mature the architecture of the enterprise.

The author is of the opinion that the desired architecture (TO – BE) should be described in a transition plan that should be used as a document to communicate with the stakeholders and the decision makers in order to communicate and evaluate the each of the projects that would have to be allocated resources to and implementation of projects. Likewise is it the author’s opinion that the transition itself has to be guided by the principles that the chief architect and the decision makers have articulated.

As the author has mentioned earlier in this paper the complexity is a barrier that can’t be ignored if the synergies of enterprise architecture and enterprise governance should be harvested.

Group the Business Processes and the Information Systems

The social systems have to be identified and as such it becomes a necessity to group the systems into various domains of specialisms. Each of these domains would have to generate synergy among the social systems and the information systems in order to justify their existence. The domains are a necessity in order to cope with the question of complexity.

Complex organizations can very well own processes and departments that are specialized to the degree that it constitutes a silo. In those cases, the silos can’t be viewed as negative issue, as long as the employees, middle managers and executives in charge of the various processes communicate and interact with one another on regular basis.

In order to ensure that the changes by grouping the various information systems and social systems, the managers would have to allocated resources in order to facilitate communities of practices that would enable the stakeholders in the enterprise with understanding and adapting to the new situation in the enterprise. It is pivotal that the decision makers allows the various members of the enterprise to make use of their time at work and in the change process to form such social networks.

A community of practice is defined by Wenger (1999, p. 47) as Such a concept of practice includes both the explicit and the tacit. It includes what is said and what is left unsaid; what is represented and what is assumed. It includes the language, tools, documents, images, symbols well-defined roles, specified criteria, codified procedures, regulations, and contracts that various practices make explicit for a variety of purposes.

It is likewise a necessity to make use of the social networks to create an understanding of how the enterprise works since that would add value to the ontology of the enterprise.

The social networks are likewise pivotal in order to enable the change process that occurs within the enterprise, and as such the chief architect and the decision takers who are in charge of the enterprise have to identify change agents and motivate the various social networks to adapt to the changes and work alongside the goals that the decision takers have articulated for the enterprise. In this light the decision takers would have to trust that the members of the enterprise works for the best of the enterprise and to some extend allow the employees to self-organize and prioritize the various tasks at hand.

I would recommend a form of hybrid of a top down (Kotter 1995) and bottom up approach (Hamel 2007) to solve the problems with anchoring the changes in the enterprise. The approach is dealt with in detail in table 1: The suggested approach to change management.

Step

Description

Impact

1

Establishment of the an active network within the executive group.

The executive group and middle managers (who aspire to become executives).

2

Identification of change agents in the enterprise that would stay among middle managers and employees.

The entire enterprise and on all levels of the enterprise. There should be found agents as many places as possible.

3

Establishment of an office or department for internal communication in the enterprise. This office has to be located close to the change leader and his position so it is clear that what is sent to the employees in the organization is the words and intentions of the leading coalition.

The upper end of the middle management. Eventually it will impact the rest of the enterprise since the communication from this office should be directed to all parts of the enterprise.

4

Establishment of scope, goals and mission clearance. Stakeholder alignment is a necessity to create the proper dynamics.

The change coalition (all agents on all levels of the enterprise should be involved in this).

5

The change leader should make sure to attend meetings and conferences with the other managers on how the change effort is planned to impact the enterprise.

Executive group and middle management.

6

Plan workshops with employees that focus on identifying issues that needs to be dealt with in the particular devisions, departments, processes and projects.

All members of the enterprise.

7

Enable feedback channels where the executives, managers, and employees can report if departments or processes don’t work as intended. In this case IT / IS is a part of the concept of processes.

It will impact all levels of the enterprise in order to achieve that all members of the enterprise are able to add information to what needs to be re-configured.

9

Initiate the implementation process.

All members of the enterprise will be impacted as a result of the change program.

10

Keep on changing the architecture in order to achieve agility and adaption the changing environment of the enterprise.

In the long run it will impact all members of the enterprise on all levels. In the short run small sections of the enterprise will be changed.

Table 1: The suggested approach to change management.

The managers needs the information that they can gain access to in the social networks through their insight to the networks. When it comes to the diffusion of knowledge it is very likely that the segments of the enterprise that are too complex. If the knowledge is too complex it is evident to investigate if the particular domain can be handled by enterprise-wide systems or for that matter enterprise-wide business approaches. Nonetheless the most important thing is that the any new employees, managers or executives can be introduced to the persons who have some idea on how to deal with the problems, tasks, activities and processes in each of the domains that are likely to be too complex. What is important for the enterprise is that the executives, middle managers and not to forget the employees support a culture of knowledge and information sharing. The IT systems should be developed to support their particular processes. These information systems could eventually be connected, but there is as such no need for enterprise-wide information systems that standardize the workflows. Knowledge can be hard to standardize and as such the various stakeholders of the enterprise can’t be expected to know everything about the same topic. In other words it is very likely that the chief architect and the decision takers would have to challenge their assumption on process standardization.

Create Value Through Grouping of IS and Business Processes

The chief architect and his associates would have to investigate how the enterprise can generate value through grouping the social systems and information systems.

The approach that the chief architect and his associates should work with a projects that will enable change for the various projects that would change the enterprise.

The progress for each of the projects will be impacting the enterprise’s architecture and thereby transform the architecture from the AS – IS situation (Bernard 2005)which is the current state for the enterprise’s architecture to the desired state which Bernard names the “TO-BE” state. The transition plan is the document that communicates what kind of projects that would have to be initiated and implemented in order to mature the enterprise’s architecture and through that enable the enterprise to reach its goals. The transition plan also works as a kind of plan that can be communicated to the various stakeholders who would have to back the enterprise in the maturation of the particular situation. The maturation process has to be evaluated before the chief architect and his followers initiates the change program. It is very likely that the stakeholders will be easier won over if they can see a logical plans that includes economical estimation of how the plan impact the enterprise’s economical situation. It is needless to say that the enterprise’s decision makers would have to have an insight on how well the enterprise can process the various resources it has at hand and thereby produce the products and services that its customers want to purchase.

The evaluation process is likewise a part of how the enterprise scans its internal and external environment and as such the Enterprise Architecture program should work as the platform for the construction of a shared ontology across the enterprise. The chief architect should keep in mind that in departments or segments that can be characterized as being characterized as complex it is rather likely that their particular views can’t be generalized into an enterprise ontology if such can be formulated.

In order to get the information that the chief architect and the decision makers need in order to plan and allocate resources to the transformation the enterprise would have to go through. They would have to go into detail with how the various social networks and communities of practices and search for the information and knowledge in order to gain a firm understanding of how the enterprise works and thereby how it can be changed. In this light the chief architect and his associates would have to decide if they should apply a top-down or a bottom-up approach. The approach chosen would eventually become a part of the debate that the members of the enterprise on what has to be done. Will the decision makers tolerate increased autonomy or if they would prefer increased centralization. As earlier mentioned it seems like that the tendencies for the development organizations.

Change the Enterprise

The chief architect and the decision makers would have to go further with the change of the enterprise. The change process would have to be a part of the overall Enterprise Architecture program and it will certainly impact the enterprise and how it works. In order to do so the chief architect would have to influence the stakeholders (decision makers, the middle managers and for that matter the employees). The changes are caused by the the questioning of the how the enterprise is able to collect the data needed in order to take the decisions needed to achieve the goals that was set for the enterprise. The author is of the opinion that the grouping of information systems and social systems in order to harvest the synergies with each one of them and among each of the clusters The clusters can most likely produce synergies for each of the areas that shows the amount of gravity that produce a barrier of complexity.

Before the chief architect and the executives commit themselves to changing the enterprise they would have to understand how the enterprise and its architecture works. In order to achieve this the chief architect would have to choose an Enterprise Architecture framework, adapting the framework to the particular enterprise and implement the framework. Thereafter should the chief architect and the enterprise architects work with identifying the various artifacts, and organizing them in an Enterprise Architecture repository. While working with the identification of artifacts and organization of artifacts in the EA repository it is important that the chief architects understands that there might be barriers to create define an unified ontology and as a result of that there might be a necessity to create several different sub-units of the EA repository. The chief architect work with an assumption that each of the specialized operations of the enterprise should be mapped as a separated entity and as a separate mini architecture of the enterprise.

The author is of the opinion that it is possible to convert extremely specialized knowledge for each of the specialized processes to other parts of the enterprise without a lot of the meaning of each of the artifacts is lost. It is better that there is a platform for informed governance for each of the segments than a system that doesn’t adapt to the entire enterprise. The managers of each of these segments should in the long run participate in the community of practice that shares knowledge and know how with one another. The chief architect can at some extent work as the change manager would would have to convince the various stakeholders in the enterprise to support the changes and in the same time enable them to take the changes even further.

The change manager would have to ensure that the office of internal communication is located and positioned as a part of management and it symbolizes the foundation of management for all other segments of the enterprise. It is pivotal that the change efforts are supported by the middle managers since they act as the approvers of each of the employees time and effort to commit to the particular change system. If the middle managers ignore the call for change and disapprove of the changes that the employees suggests then it is very likely that the changes will come to a still and eventually fail. Likewise would the commitment of the employee be of great importance since it is likely that each of the employees have specialized knowledge of how the work processes interacts.

Conclusions

The author is of the opinion that the organization have to work with several different approaches to challenge their particular views on how the enterprise collects the data that are used by the decision makers. Likewise is it likely that the various decision makers of the enterprise would have to deal with identifying segments of the enterprise that are too complex to be adapted to generalized business processes. The author is of the opinion that the chief architect and his associates would have to deal with the challenges of adding value to the enterprise by applying the standardized business activities and business processes, but in the same time be able to identify where it wouldn’t make sense to apply standardized systems since that wouldn’t provide the enterprise with any kind of advantages.

The focus of the members of the Enterprise Architecture team would have to include the concept of complexity to the concept of enterprise ontology and as such should the repositories that would be able to connect the various sections of the enterprise and communicate the meaning meaning of how the enterprise works to the decision makers and other stakeholders who would have to make use of the knowledge that is represented in the repositories.

Likewise is it a necessity for the decision makers and the chief architect would have to investigate the various elements of the enterprise in order to achieve better insight into how the enterprise works and from that enable better decision making in order to achieve the objectives for the enterprise.

Bibliography

Bernard, S., A., 2005. An Introduction To Enterprise Architecture: Second Edition 2nd ed., AuthorHouse.

Dietz, J.L.G., 2006. Enterprise Ontology: Theory and Methodology, Springer.

Hamel, G., 2007. The Future of Management, Harvard Business School Press.

Hammer, M., 1990. Reengineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate. , Harvard Business Review no. 68.

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

Kotter, J.P., 1995. Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Harvard Business Review, (March – April 1995), p.9.

Wenger, E., 1999. Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity New Ed., Cambridge University Press.

Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, P.B. & Lampel, J.B., 2008. Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide Through the Wilds of Strategic Management 2nd ed., Financial Times/ Prentice Hall.

Porter, M.E., 1985. Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, New York: Free Press.

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.

Weill, P. & Ross, J., 2009. IT Savvy: What Top Executives Must Know to Go from Pain to Gain, Harvard Business School Press.

Weill, P. & Ross, J.W., 2004. IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results, Harvard Business School Press.

Weick, K.E., 2000. Making Sense of the Organization, WileyBlackwell.

The paper can be downloaded here or read at ISSUU.

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.

Reflections

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.

Conclusion

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.

Bibliography

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.

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Challenges of Enterprise Architecture: A Focus on the Transformation!

Barriers for Enterprise Architecture

When working with adaption of concepts and technology then the enterprises will face issues with to identify the proper solutions in the proper pace and adapt the solutions to the context that the enterprise is within. Likewise will the enterprise face the challenge of adoption. The adoption of the concept or technology.

The first outwards part (identification of potential technology or concepts) has to be diffused by networks that the enterprise linked to. This can be either through so called social networks or through meta-organizations that acts on behalf of many different organizations and sent out information to the different actors within their network. In many cases is the technology or for that matter the concept in some form generic, and the enterprise needs to alter it to make it work in their context. The adoption process (Rogers 2005) as it is called will have to impact various activities, processes and structures within the enterprise, and that will take time.

Usually semi-mature enterprises will be working with an assumption that they will have to make use of project and program management to implement the new concepts or technology. However it is quite clear that the transformation itself will not happen as a result of project management, but only as a result of organizational transformation. It is rather common that the various lines of businesses don’t adapt and incorporate the various projects right away which leads to the realization of the investments isn’t crystallized right away.

It can be concluded that it is the adaption process that fails when enterprises aren’t able to incorporate the projects into their activities.

The question then becomes if the concept of project or for that matter program management will be a particular good way of adapting the enterprise to change when the real focus should be on how to adapt to the organizational transformation, and thereby working with change management instead of project management.

Change management is usually a rather difficult discipline to work with, and many enterprises underestimate the resources needed to implement the resources. When working with adaption of concepts and technology, then the enterprises will face issues with identifying the proper solutions in the proper pace and adapt the solutions to the context that the enterprise is within. Likewise will the enterprise face the challenge of adoption the concept or technology.

The part is the outwards of the organizational barrier (identification of potential technology or concepts) has to be diffused by networks the enterprise is linked with either through so called social networks or through meta-organizations that acts on behalf of many different organizations and sent information to the different enterprises within their network. In many cases it is the technology or for that matter the concept in some form generic, and the enterprise needs to alter it to make it work in context of the enterprise. The adoption process as it is called will have to impact various activities, processes and structures within the enterprise, and that will take time.

Usually semi-mature enterprises will be working with an assumption that they will have to make use of project and program management to implement the new concepts or technologies. However it is quite clear that the transformation itself will not happen as a result of project management but only as a result of organizational transformation. It is rather common that the various lines of businesses don’t adapt and incorporate the various projects right away which leads to the realization of the investments isn’t crystallized right away.

It can be concluded that it is the adaption process that fails when enterprises aren’t able to incorporate the projects into their activities.

The question then becomes if the concept of project or for that matter program management will be a particular good way of adapting the enterprise to change when the real focus should be on how to adapt to the organizational transformation, and thereby working with change management instead of project management.

Change management is usually a rather difficult discipline to work with, and many enterprises underestimate the resources needed to implement the resources.

Win Over The Opposition

In most literature that has been written about how change management works with the assumption that an enterprise can be unfreezed, moved and freezed. The initial idea was proposed shortly after the second world war by Kurt Lewin. The assumption was based on that the organization was a tightly coupled social system where the actors thought and acted alike. However this might not be the case for most enterprises if they are slightly more complex than the average entrepreneurial organization. For this Karl Weick introduced the loosely coupled social system. In the paper Weick wrote together with Orton in 1990 they state that there are eight forms of loosely coupling among the various components of the enterprise:

  1. Individuals.

  2. Subunits.

  3. Organizations.

  4. Hierarchies.

  5. Organizations and Environments.

  6. Activities.

  7. Ideas.

  8. Intentions.

This means that it isn’t as easy as Kurt Lewin proposed it was to change enterprises. It is a rather complex processes where the influences of the various connections and couplings with the components of the enterprise. It is very likely that the various components will be influenced by their contexts and thereby by their domains.

It is notable that in every organization there will be different forms of coupling among the various components and some will be more tightly integrated than other. Therefore should the eight forms of coupling be understood as a stereotyped view that needs to be customized. In his book “managing the unexpected” that burning platforms aren’t the way forward if the enterprise has to transform for the better, since it is already to late when the burning platform is present.

The Burning Platform?

Therefore should the burning platform be a last solution. The concept of the burning platform was originally published in the Kotter’s (1995) article dealing with managing change. The first part of working this particular change approach is creating the burning platform and for that the executives needs to create a crisis so it is apparent that the enterprise needs to change or extinct.

When the burning platform has been established then Kotter works with a framework that contains eight steps that needs to be followed to implement change. All of the steps are useful but the primary problem is that the approach to change is based on Lewin’s eight steps for change.

It might make the framework for change useless but the rest of eight steps might be useful if it is combined with social networks theory and defining how to approach the loosely coupled systems. Likewise does the enterprise need to institutionalize a culture that accepts when the managers and employees makes mistakes and support them when they report when the mistakes happen so the damage of the mistakes are coped with.

In conclusion it is a necessity to handle the change approach by blending it with the views of Rogers, the views of Weick and the view of Kotter. As it is with all generic frameworks it has to be adapted to the individual enterprise otherwise will the benefits not be realized by the enterprise.

Enterprise Architecture and Organizational Transformation

It is needless to say when implementing an Enterprise Architecture program then it will lead to a need for change in the organization and it handles a lot of its activities for working with documentation, communicating and not to forget how to prioritize projects and organize them into programs. The changes in tasks will impact the organization structure, the people who have been employed, and the technology that has been implemented.

If the enterprise already has implemented a functional Enterprise Architecture program then it is likely that the enterprise will have to identify that the various problems that the Enterprise Architecture program has identified and the transformation phase of the critical business processes. The Enterprise Architecture program will lead to further change through iterations and eventually the program will have matured the Enterprise Architecture. When the Enterprise Architecture has matured then a lot of other elements of the enterprise will be influenced by the concept of Enterprise Architecture program.

Projects Don’t Transform the Enterprise

Projects alone aren’t contributing to change within the enterprise. Usually projects are groups that are established with members from the Line of Business or the Lines of Businesses and when the project has been delivered the project team is usually dissolved and the project is handled over to the line of business. It is in the line of business that the change needs to occur if the business processes have to be changed. Therefore it is the Lines of Business and their ability to adopt the project deliveries that is the key to a more agile enterprise.

Sources

Kotter, J.P., 1995. Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Harvard Business Review, (March – April 1995), 9.

Orton & Weick, 1990, Loosely Coupled Systems: A Reconceptulation.

Rogers, E.M., 2003. Diffusion of Innovations 5th ed., Simon & Schuster International.

Weick, K.E. & Sutcliffe, K.M., 2007. Managing the Unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty 2nd ed., Jossey Bass.

Loosely Coupled Systems: A Reconceptulation.

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