Posted by Mike Rollings
Copernicus, born 19 February 1473, started a scientific revolution by showing that the motion of celestial objects can be explained without putting the earth in the center of the universe. A person gazing into the sky from earth perceives the stars rotating around the earth. But Copernicus looked deeper. He found that looking at the situation from a different perspective (from the Sun) proved otherwise. His proof through observation overturned the perception. This one discovery opened up a world of possibility in astronomy.
We need a Copernican revolution for enterprise architecture. For an example look no further than the idea of looking for a better name for EA.
"Q1: If Enterprise Architecture as practiced by most is really IT Architecture and Enterprise Architecture is not a term that will be embraced outside the IT organization, what should we call it?
Tim’s Answer: Although it is not as catchy, my first thought was Enterprise Planning & Optimization. Until something sexier or more appealing comes along, this is my suggestion. "
This question came from the Q&A in my keynote "Enterprise Architecture - Disappearing into the Business". I was asked "if you are recommending that we stop focusing on EA then what do we call it"? I responded that I don't care what you call it; I care that you do it. If you focus on the right things NOBODY WILL CARE WHAT YOU CALL IT.
Tim and I had a brief discussion afterwards and he pointed out a suggestion from my talk based on my definition of EA -- a planning, optimization and design discipline that is fundamentally based on the identification of dependencies, implications and constraints. While I am flattered that he chose my words, I don't want you to call it "Enterprise Planning & Optimization" unless you are actually doing it inside your organization. We do not need another term to become meaningless like "enterprise architecture".
If your organization looks at EA as a techno-focused activity, then it is not because of the name you gave the function. Most likely you are perceived as techno-focused because you are acting this way! Also, odds are that someone in the organization has begun to fill the void left by the techno-focus on EA. If so, then connect with them to enrich the result. Thinking that a new name will solve your problems is nothing more than a control game. The enterprise architecture community must let go of the idea that they are in control. Control has never worked as a means to establish a discipline.
The best advice - stop focusing on EA like it is the center of the business universe. Change your focus to being focused on business outcomes and to influencing better decisions that lead to to those outcomes. Seek out ways to influence the decisions that occur (or need to occur) in the delivery chain. Focus on helping the organization apply the discipline. The best way to establish a new meaning to EA in your organization is by redefining what you are doing!
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