An Introduction to Coherency Management: A keynote with Gary Doucet @ ITU 2009.

The Basics of Coherency Management

Enterprise Architecture is a discipline is about 30 years old. Based on a paper by John Zachman who worked at IBM at the time. Enterprise Architecture is evolving over time and currently it is improving the coherence of enterprises to bridge gaps in organizations and enterprises. Coherency Management is for using Enterprise Architecture to advance the alignment, agility and assurance. It might lead to that IT will help the enterprise in doing its business. To explicitly manage coherency which is a new perspective within this discipline. Coherency Management as a concept is not about if the company is a success or not but a way to investigate the enterprise to find factors that enables the organization is coherent with its goal and processes.

The explicit architecture will assist the management on future development of the organization, its processes and its way to function as an organism.

People is the key in relation to rapid change (and a barrier). This perspective is supported by the view that Chris Potts introduces in his “fruITion strategy”.

Enterprise Architecture is about people” – Chris Potts, IT University of Copenhagen 2010.

Enterprise Architecture is often a Chief Information Office lead project. The main purpose of the Enterprise Architecture is building good IT systems and the Enterprise Architecture project is disconnected from the rest of the organization. Every organization has an architecture. The purpose of the Enterprise Architecture is to make the architecture better.

Ross and Weill (2005) fell into a trap with their definition of Enterprise Architecture since it is way to technology orientated. It should be on how to improve the way the organization does its business.” – Gary Doucet, IT University of Copenhagen 20091.

In general there are four forms of architectures. The first is formalized architecture and the second the un-formalized architecture. There are however three modes of Enterprise Architecture where the more advanced form is called foundation (the extended mode of Enterprise Architecture) where the architects is focusing on understanding the business. The most advanced form is called embedded Enterprise Architecture where you find the process owner and make them modifying the processes.

An example of harvesting artifacts is the government of Canada where the chief of treasure wanted to know about the services they provided for the aboriginal community (first nations) and he therefore asked the best analysts in his administration to find the information; however it took about six months before they finished the process to understand what happened.

Enterprise Architecture is the inherent (existing as permanent and separate) design and management (management and control) approach (you need an approach that works for your organization) essential for organizational coherence leading to alignment (aligning the components of the organization with one another), agility (the ability to change quickly) and assurance (to check up that the products and services and administration is done correctly and accordingly to the corporate strategy).

People always focus on projects but the steady state should be the focus. The Enterprise Architecture is a continuous improvement model. If the organization gets a coherent view then the management and the employees eventually do better decisions. Coherency Management is a new concept but it incorporates existing elements, applications and objectives of Enterprise Architecture but in particular new aspects in particular:

  • Incorporating other process owners.

  • Managing coherency explicitly.

  • Enterprise Architecture as a continuous improvement agent, not simple “AS IS”, “TO BE” and the way to get there.

  • The coherency planning office should be in charge of the coherency project(s).

It is not a new name for Enterprise Architecture. It should be considered a practice within Enterprise Architecture. It is not a project. It is not a demotion for chief architects. It is not an attempt to control all management functions. It is not a quick fix. It is not something that only pays back in 15 to 20 years.

The next thing which has to be implemented in Coherency Management is a measuring model and the involvement with consultancy community.

1The 18th of September 2009 a Keynote at the E-business Association at the IT University of Copenhagen.

Download the paper here.


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