Posted by Chris Howard
My posting title has multiple meanings. ;-)
First of all, the new EA coverage area site went live on May 18 as part of the launch of IT1 from Burton Group. The initial content is in place, and the stage is set for growth.
As for the second meaning of my subject line, for many Burton Group clients EA is not alive: it is struggling. Our decision to launch EA as a practical, pragmatic, action-oriented (Mike Rollings has his Indiana Jones Fedora ready) coverage area is aimed directly at the weaknesses of most EA programs. Furthermore, we are deliberately avoiding a highly theoretical approach to EA in favor of helping our clients produce results. For Burton Group, EA is definitely living and breathing. Our test research into client reactions is showing that we are on the right track, and that our clients want us to help them.
I'm very pleased to add Mike Rollings to my team to lead our EA coverage. Mike has long experience with EA, and he holds no illusions. He joked in a recent podcast that "in some environments, saying you do Enterprise Architecture is like saying you have the plague!" EA can be difficult, but here's our bottom line: we see EA as an active pursuit that is connected into the lifeblood of the organization.
Too often, EA becomes an isolated discipline- increasingly disconnected from groups that "get stuff done". It is easy for an underpowered EA team to hide away and make proclamations about technology that are promptly ignored. We're going to provide research and advice to help organizations establish and maintain EA momentum.
Unlike what might be venerated by EA monks, perhaps effective enterprise architecture is better represented by Escher. When EA works well, it enables the simultaneous existence of multiple perspectives. Each of these perspectives is a critical component of the enterprise, and EA helps keep them aligned to ensure maximum effectiveness of the organization.
To do this, EA must be an active pursuit, one that is plugged into design and governance processes and produces useful outcomes. It shields the inhabitants of one "perspective" from having to know everything about all the other possible perspectives. No wonder it's hard to do.
So, keep your eyes on Burton Group's EA coverage, and let us know what you'd like to see.