The Foundation for Coherency Management: A Framework for Change.

A Framework for Organization to Embrace Coherency Management

When an organization choses to pursuit the implementation of Coherency Management then it the organization have to focus on organizational change. The idea of the organizational change is when the managers, middle managers and the employees will have to work in a different way and humans and organization culture have a tendency to be conservative and react hostile against change.

For this the Coherency Architect should focus on how create the proper form of change within the organization.

A Quick Summary of Coherency Management

Coherency Management deals with how to achieve alignment, agility and assurance through maturing the enterprise’s Enterprise Architecture. According to Doucet et al (2009) then there are three stages for an Enterprise Architecture. The first one is the form that is called the Foundation Architecture which is typically led by the IT department and sponsored through the CIO. The second stage is the so called extended enterprise architecture where both the business side and the IT-organization have adopted and applied Enterprise Architecture to expose the current situation (AS IS architecture) and is used to manage the enterprise’s strategic, business and technology elements.

The third and last stage is called the Embedded Architecture. This particular form of architecture is defined by the most employees in some way or the other work with the Enterprise Architecture. However there are two forms of Enterprise Architects. The first form is the explicit of architect of which there can be defined to dominant forms. The mature and advanced form of Enterprise Architects that are working with an established architecture office that handles the various forms of strategies to create a so called coherent overview. The other form of explicit architect are working with various sub architectures such as the business architecture, technology architecture or the solution architecture.

It is worth to mention that these three stages of architectures are supported by Herzum in his 2003 paper on the topic.

The Framework

When dealing with organizational change then the Coherency Architect needs to work with developing and internal pressure for enabling change. The question can be if the organization is loosely coupled or not. In this particular framework the assumption is that the organization (enterprise) isn’t loosely coupled.

When the organization (enterprise) isn’t a public given monopoly such as the Danish postal services then it will face competition. The competition deals with that the competitors will work for gaining market share this is done through various strategies and those enterprises that sees that they can’t make money in a particular market focuses on differentiating their products or services.

The various moments the competing enterprises makes are in a way a path to more innovation (since it emphasis the development of new products or differentiating the products e.g., make products of a better quality), and this can be defined as a part of the external pressure. It is worth mentionable that not only does the competitors add to the external pressure e.g., the government, press or other external entity. The external pressure can be an enabler for an internal pressure of which is needed to create the urge for change. Change or initiatives for change can be limited through the persistence of organizational culture (as before mentioned organizational culture tends to be rather conservative) and urge is a feeling among the actors within the organization to approve the change initiatives.

It is a preferable situation for the enterprise and the Coherency Architect would be if there can be created a synergy between the external pressure and the internal pressure. This particular synergy would be the burning platform.

When the external pressure e.g., competition, law (regulation) or other element changes in the enterprise’s domino then the Coherency Architect should work with influencing the various groups within the organization that holds some form of power. For this the Coherency Architect needs to produce valid arguments for the need for change and arguments on what to do. For this an elevator pitch can be necessary. According to Bernard (Bernard 2005) then the concept of Enterprise Architecture embraces strategy, business and technology so all of them can be aligned.

The elevator pitch could therefore be something like this “Enterprise Architecture assists in creating a coherent overview of business, strategy and technology”. The elevator pitch has to be supported through an economic and strategical estimation of the benefits that Enterprise Architecture and Coherency Management can add to the enterprise.

When done so then the Coherency Architect should establish an Enterprise Architecture group where he or another person should be appointed the Chief Architect and this person should be granted the resources, responsibilities and power needed to implement an Enterprise Architecture program. Before Coherency Management can be implemented then the organization needs to implement an Enterprise Architecture program and through the principles of Coherency Management evolve the Enterprise Architecture to more than just the “Foundation Architecture”. When establishing the Enterprise Architecture program a suitable Enterprise Architecture framework should be applied e.g., Bernard’s EA 3 Cube framework. The framework should as a documentation form and as a management form ensure that the enterprise’s current projects are investigated and if possible aligned with the strategy, business and technology goals for the Enterprise.

While the Enterprise Architecture program is established then the Coherency Architect should communicate with the sponsors

When the alignment has been established then the Coherency Management framework CoMOF framework should be adapted to the needs of the organization e.g., should issues like repositories be dealt with which leads to the example of the Modular (modular repositories) Coherency Management Framework (needless to say that the framework is based on Doucet et al. basic suggestions for a framework). When the maturing process for the Enterprise Architecture has been matured then it is important for the Coherency Management to verify and moderate the feedback channels that is the foundation of the renewing the Coherency Management and Enterprise Architecture programs and eventually the need for changes have to be implemented along side a new burning platform.

Key Issues

An Enterprise Architecture program should be enterprise – wide and therefore the Coherency Architect will have to deal with resistance to change and for that communication is vital for all the necessary stakeholders. Therefore a communication plan is needed and it has to focus on three particular issues. 1) The stakeholders don’t think like the Coherency Architect. 2) The various stakeholders needs different kinds of information. 3) The need for urgency needs to be enabled through communication and therefore should the Coherency Architect communicate the victories and the victories needs to be sequenced over the period of time one iteration takes and the communication needs to be done in a way that appeal to the feelings of the stakeholders.

Conclusion

When an Enterprise Architecture program and a Coherency Management program is about to be established then it is vital for the success of the program, that the Coherency Architect deals with the issues of pressure to establish a burning platform and then anchor an EA office or for that matter a coherency management office to the power bases in the organization. When done so communication about victories has to be prioritized and sequenced to so the stakeholders continue with their support for both the Enterprise Architecture and Coherency Management program. Since Coherency Management is based on the foundation of Enterprise Architecture then it is a necessity that the EA program is anchored first and for that the proper approach is to apply an EA framework e.g., Bernard’s Enterprise Architecture 3 Cube Framework and use the EA program to align the business and IT projects of the organization to support new or improved business processes (TO BE architecture) that are dictated by the corporate strategy.

When the EA program has been established then the usage of a Coherency Management framework needs to be implemented and the framework needs to be modified to the needs of the particular enterprise e.g., by adding multiple repositories.

When both the EA program and Coherency Management program has been established then it is vital that the Coherency Architect ensures improvement and that can be done by established and routinized channels for verification and feedback.

The need for adaption to the domain of the organization will lead to a continued demand for the establishment of a burning platform.

Sources

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

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

Herzum, P., 2003. Applying Enterprise Architecture. Cutter Consortium Executive Report, 6(3), 36.

Kotter, J.P., 2008. A Sense of Urgency, Harvard Business School Press.

Download the paper here.

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