Artifacts: The Items the Enterprise Architect has to Identify.

Enterprise Architecture Artifact

First of all we need a definition of what an EA artifacts is. Scott A. Bernard defines “an EA artifact as a documentation product, such as a text document, diagram, spreadsheet, briefing slides, or video clip” (Bernard 2004, p. 111).

Please note that the EA artifact documents the EA component. An EA component is in the Enterprise Architecture components are those elements that are owned by Lines of Business. The components can be shared (cross cuts) or the component can be shared a cross various levels (this is with in the EA3 Framework).

Various Forms of Artifacts

There are various forms of artifacts in the EA 3 framework. Combined with the Cube to illustrate what kind of artifacts than can be identified at the five levels of the cube.

The first (and highest level) is the layer titled “Goals and Initiatives” deals with documents and diagrams dealing with mission statement, overall strategy (corporate and IT strategy), purpose of the organization. E.g., SWOT analysis, Porter’s Five Forces analysis, competitive strategy, Concept of Operations.

The second (and second highest level) is the layer titled “Products and Services” deals with the business plans, swim lane diagrams, business cases (for investment in new business and IT projects), use case diagrams and node connectivity diagrams among other stuff.

The third (and third highest level) is the layer titled “Data and Information” deals with identifying the knowledge management plan, the information exchange matrix, objects state – transition diagram, logical data model, data dictionary / object library.

The fourth (and fourth highest level) is the layer titled “Systems and Applications”that deals with identifying systems interface diagram, systems communication diagram, systems interface matrix, system data flow diagram, system or operations matrix, systems data exchange matrix, systems evolution diagram and web application diagram.

The fifth (and fifth highest level) is the layer titled “Network and Infrastructure” deals with identifying artifacts like network connectivity diagram, network inventory, capital equipment inventory, building blueprints, network center diagram, cable plant diagram and the rack elevation diagram.

The EA3 Cube.
The EA3 Cube.

Acquiring the Artifacts

When the Enterprise Architect or for that matter the Coherency Architect have to acquire information on the various layers in the EA3 Cube.

The Enterprise Architect has to go to the CIO or other members of the executive group who the Enterprise Architect assumes have access to the corporate strategy and the IT strategy. However many organizations there aren’t isn’t an IT strategy or for that matter an explicit up to date the corporate strategy. Most of that information that all in all can be combined into a functional strategy.

In such cases the Enterprise Architect has to go an interview the stakeholders. However the Enterprise Architect should expect that he or she hasn’t unlimited resources to investigate and uncover the strategies (level 1). He or she should therefore try to focus on the stakeholders that can give them the greatest amount of value through the uncovering process.

The persons or stakeholders should be set into a matrix where the axis should be aligned around importance and impact on the uncovering process.

Importance - Contribution Matrix.
Importance - Contribution Matrix.

When the various stakeholders have been identified then those actors and stakeholders who are in the upper right quadrant should be interviewed. If it is possible then those persons who are in the lower right quadrant should be engaged as well however only as second or third priority.

When interviewing the executive group the Enterprise Architect should focus on applying techniques that enables the interview victims on expressing what they mean by illustrating the strategy e.g., rich pictures, flow charts, concept of operations diagrams etc.

The interview technique could be applied on the other levels in the EA 3 Cube. Likewise can the various managers and employees be categorized in the matrix and likewise should the Enterprise Architect focus on maximizing the values of his work through interviewing those persons who have contributes the most and who are most important to the data collection.

Conclusion

The Chief Enterprise Architecture should work with identify the proper stakeholders and make use of interview techniques to collect the necessary artifacts they need to create the “AS IS” view of the Enterprise Architecture. All organizations faces the conflict of resource shortage which means that the executives needs to prioritize their actions to create maximum value and that includes the way the Chief Enterprise Architect and the Enterprise Architects should handle.

Download the paper here.

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