Posted by Mike Rollings
Here is a link to a press release about Gartner's “new approach for enterprise architecture”. I think they finally woke up to the facts of life about EA. Their seven properties show that they are just now realizing that centralized, top-down, autocratic decision making does not work. “Gartner said that enterprise architects must be ready to embrace the inversion of control. Where in the past, they controlled all EA decision making, they must now accept that that business units demand more autonomy".
Did centralized, top-down, autocratic decision making ever work? NO! EA is about influencing better decision making with a focus on business outcomes.
Each of the seven properties are realizations of things that have not worked -- not just now, but for years! (my commentary is in italics)
1. Non-deterministic – Effective enterprise architects always foster decentralized decision-making to enable innovation.
2. Autonomous actors - Enterprise architects NEVER controlled all aspects of architecture.
3. Rule-bound actors - If enterprise architects provided detailed design specifications for all aspects of the EA, they became bogged down in boiling the ocean and were grossly ineffective.
4. Goal-oriented actors – Gartner still misses the point - being business outcome focused and having a clear view of the business operating model is the key.
5. Local Influences: EA has always required the facilitation of behavior change – especially when it comes to implementing EA on projects. Enforcement is the route to failure and collaboration has led to success. BTW, this is why Burton Group looks to sociology and other disciplines to understand human adaptation and learning.
6. Dynamic or Adaptive Systems: Responsive to change – I think John Zachman has been saying this since the 60’s.
7. Resource-Constrained Environment: Did they just realize that we are in a recession? Many are in need of transformation and doing more with what they have.
Thank you Gartner for validating my claim that prevailing wisdom about EA is washed up and the pursuit of building an EA admiration society is not the predominant goal of EA. Thank you for further illustrating that living in a mythical world where EA is king is just dead wrong.
Want a new approach for enterprise architecture? Read Burton Group's EA research (clients only):
- Enterprise Architecture Is More than Engineering
- The Anatomy of Effective Enterprise Architecture
- Using Metrics Effectively: Proving and Improving the Business Value of IT
- Facing the Headwind: Good Ideas for Bad Times
- Real Transformation: Why IT Change Is Not Enough
- Moving Out: The Externalization of IT
- Measuring Enterprise Architecture Success
- Modeling Influence and Communications
- Presentation Techniques: The Power of Making a Point
- Establishing and Maintaining Enterprise Architecture Momentum