Enterprise Architecture Deliverables list the artifacts and models that enterprise architects produce as a part of their work. Despite the importance of enterprise architecture, the output enterprise architects generate, and the outcomes they drive still remain a mystery. Here is a demystification of enterprise architecture disciplines with a list and elaboration of the enterprise architecture deliverables.
Enterprise Architecture Deliverables
Enterprise Architecture Framework:
What it is: An Enterprise Architecture Framework is a set of best practices or guidelines that assists enterprises in their business transformation activities, covering aspects such as business, information, application, and technology architecture. It provides a consistent and organized approach for creating, interpreting, analyzing, and using architecture descriptions within an enterprise.
Why it’s important: It allows businesses to create a structured approach to transformation. It can help identify how an organization can meet its future objectives with the existing or new technology.
Steps to produce it: Choose a suitable EA framework (such as TOGAF, Zachman, or FEAF), understand its guidelines and methodology, and tailor it to the organization’s needs. This could involve defining key aspects like the organization’s vision, principles, business domains, etc.
Best Practices: Follow a recognized framework as a guide, involve all key stakeholders, continuously update the framework as the organization changes, and ensure that the framework aligns with the business strategy.
Current State Architecture:
What it is: Current State Architecture is a documentation of the existing architecture within the enterprise. It includes business processes, technologies, applications, data, infrastructure, and more.
Why it’s important: Understanding the current state is the starting point of any transformation process. It helps identify existing challenges, inefficiencies, redundancies, and risks in the current setup.
Steps to produce it: Conduct audits, interviews, and workshops with various business units to understand and document the current architecture. This could involve documenting existing business processes, IT systems, data flows, etc.
Best Practices: Maintain up-to-date documentation, ensure the documentation is comprehensive, covering all business and IT aspects, and involve stakeholders from all business units to ensure the accuracy of the documentation.
Future State Architecture:
What it is: Future State Architecture is the vision of what the enterprise’s architecture should look like in the future. The strategic goals and objectives of the organization guide it.
Why it’s important: It gives a target for the organization to aim for and sets the direction for the architectural development activities. It helps align the IT strategy with the business strategy.
Steps to produce it: This involves understanding the organization’s strategic objectives, identifying the necessary changes in the business processes and IT systems to meet those objectives, and documenting the desired future state of the architecture.
Best Practices: Involve key stakeholders in defining the future state, ensure it aligns with the business strategy, consider future trends and technologies, and make it flexible to accommodate changes as the organization evolves.
What it is: A gap analysis compares the current and future state architectures to identify the gaps, which are the discrepancies between the current capabilities of the organization and the capabilities required to achieve the future state.
Why it’s important: It helps highlight the areas that need improvement, enabling enterprises to prioritize investments in business processes, systems, and technology based on strategic needs.
Steps to produce it: Begin by understanding the current and future state architectures, compare them to find gaps, and document the identified gaps along with the implications of each gap.
Best Practices: Involve key stakeholders to ensure accuracy, make the analysis actionable with clear recommendations, prioritize the gaps based on the business strategy, and consider the impact on all business areas.
What it is: A roadmap is a strategic plan that outlines the steps an organization needs to take to transition from the current to the future state, considering the gaps identified.
Why it’s important: It provides a clear, step-by-step guide for the organization’s transformation, helping to align IT initiatives with business strategy and ensuring that the right projects are being prioritized.
Steps to produce it: Identify the strategic initiatives required to fill the gaps, prioritize them based on factors like business impact and feasibility, and outline a timeline for implementing them.
Best Practices: The roadmap should be flexible to accommodate changes, it should be clearly communicated to all stakeholders, and the progress against the roadmap should be regularly reviewed and updated.
What it is: Architecture principles are a set of rules and guidelines that inform the design and implementation of the enterprise architecture. They are derived from the business strategy and govern the architecture process.
Why it’s important: They provide a consistent approach to architecture design across the organization, helping to guide decision-making and ensuring alignment with business strategy.
Steps to produce it: Define the principles based on the business strategy and goals, involve key stakeholders in the process, and document the principles in a clear, concise, and accessible manner.
Best Practices: Make the principles actionable and clear, regularly review and update them as the business evolves, and ensure they are communicated and understood across the organization.
Business Capability Model:
What it is: A business capability model is a diagram that depicts the key capabilities an organization needs to execute its business strategy. It includes the current capabilities and the capabilities needed in the future.
Why it’s important: It provides a clear view of what the organization needs to do to achieve its strategic objectives, helping to guide investment and resource allocation decisions.
Steps to produce it: Identify the key capabilities needed based on the business strategy, map the current capabilities, and highlight the capabilities needed for the future.
Best Practices: The model should be clear and understandable, regularly updated to reflect changes in the business environment, and used as a tool for strategic planning and decision-making.
What it is: Data Architecture includes the models, policies, rules, and standards that govern the collection, storage, arrangement, integration, and use of data in an organization. It provides a framework for managing data and ensuring it aligns with business strategy.
Why it’s important: It ensures data consistency and accuracy, enhances data security, helps in meeting regulatory requirements, and improves decision-making through better data management.
Steps to produce it: Identify the data needs of the organization, define data-related standards and policies, create data models, and establish data governance mechanisms.
Best Practices: Align data architecture with business goals, involve stakeholders from across the business, ensure data security and privacy, and implement robust data governance mechanisms.
What it is: Application Architecture outlines the plan for managing the organization’s software applications, including their interdependencies and interactions with business processes and users.
Why it’s important: It guides the design and development of applications, helps to manage and reduce complexity, and ensures alignment between IT applications and business needs.
Steps to produce it: Map out the existing application landscape, identify the required applications for the future state, define the relationships and interactions between applications, and outline guidelines for application design and development.
Best Practices: Align application architecture with business and IT strategies, consider usability and functionality requirements, and regularly review and update the architecture.
What it is: Technology Architecture provides a blueprint of the hardware, software, and network resources used in the organization.
Why it’s important: It supports the delivery of the necessary IT capabilities for the business, guides technology investment decisions, and helps to ensure optimal use of technology resources.
Steps to produce it: Catalog current technology resources, understand the technology requirements for the future state, and create a technology blueprint that aligns with the business strategy.
Best Practices: Ensure that the technology architecture aligns with the business strategy and goals, keep up with technology trends and consider them in the architecture, and regularly review and update the architecture.
What it is: Security Architecture describes the design, deployment, and management of an organization’s security controls and processes. It’s a roadmap for implementing the organization’s cybersecurity strategies.
Why it’s important: It helps organizations to protect their information assets and IT infrastructure from cyber threats, ensuring business continuity and regulatory compliance.
Steps to produce it: Define the organization’s security policies, identify the necessary security controls, map out the placement and interaction of these controls, and document the overall security architecture.
Best Practices: Align the security architecture with the business and IT strategies, consider emerging security threats and trends, and continually review and update the security architecture.
What it is: A Standards Catalogue is a list of the technology standards that the organization has adopted. It includes standards for coding, interfaces, data exchange, security, etc.
Why it’s important: It ensures consistency and interoperability across the IT landscape, reduces complexity and can help in regulatory compliance.
Steps to produce it: Identify the necessary standards based on the organization’s needs, document these standards in a catalog, and communicate this catalog across the organization.
Best Practices: Regularly review and update the standards catalog, ensure it is widely accessible and understood within the organization, and align the standards with the organization’s strategic goals.
Architectural Decision Records:
What it is: Architectural Decision Records (ADRs) are documents that capture important architectural decisions, along with their context and consequences.
Why it’s important: They provide transparency and traceability for architectural decisions, enable knowledge sharing, and ensure consistent decision-making.
Steps to produce it: Document each significant architectural decision made, including the context in which the decision was made, the options considered, and the consequences of the decision.
Best Practices: Keep the records up-to-date and easily accessible, ensure they are comprehensive yet concise, and encourage all stakeholders to refer to them when making decisions.
Stakeholder Communication Plan:
What it is: A Stakeholder Communication Plan outlines the approach for communicating with stakeholders about the enterprise architecture activities.
Why it’s important: It ensures clear and consistent communication with stakeholders, enabling their support and involvement in the EA activities.
Steps to produce it: Identify the key stakeholders, define each stakeholder group’s communication needs and preferences, and outline the approach for meeting these communication needs.
Best Practices: Regularly update and execute the communication plan, tailor communication to the needs of each stakeholder group, and use clear and simple language to ensure understanding.
What it is: A Governance Model outlines the roles, responsibilities, and processes involved in overseeing and guiding the enterprise architecture activities.
Why it’s important: It ensures that EA activities are carried out effectively, provides a mechanism for making decisions, and helps to align EA with business objectives.
Steps to produce it: Define the roles and responsibilities of EA, establish the decision-making processes, and document these in a governance model.
Best Practices: Ensure the governance model is clear and understood by all involved, regularly review and update it, and ensure it aligns with the organization’s overall governance structures and processes.
In addition to the ones listed above, what other enterprise architecture deliverables do you produce?
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