How to Set Off EA Decision-making

Assuming a clear presentation of enterprise architecture, going further to persuade decision-makers to engage with EA implies a shift in the course of the presentation:

  1. Convincing arguments are logical, not visuals.
  2. Expectations are to be met with commitments.
  3. Decisions are best triggered by present and concrete opportunities.
Carpe Diem (Bruno Barbey)

Decision-making is driven by rules

Boxes and arrows may help to understand issues and support decision-making processes, but decisions are more easily triggered by rules than visuals. As far as enterprise architecture is concerned, the rule of the game is the necessary collaboration across enterprise business and systems units.

Expectations Must come with commitments

Visuals presentations help with reasoning and expectations, but decisions are made when problems (expectations) and solutions (commitments) spaces can be aligned. That should be a primary argument for enterprise architecture :

  • At enterprise level problems are defined by business environment and objectives (aka business model), and solved by organization and activities, to be translated into processes.
  • At system level problems are defined by processes requirements, and solved by objects representation and systems functions.
  • At platform level problems are defined by functional and operational requirements, and solved by applications design and configurations.

decisions are best triggered by present and concrete opportunities

Enterprise architecture is a continuous endeavor that can only be carried out through collaboration. As a corollary, decisions are to be made on a piecemeal basis on business driven projects involving architectural decisions, e.g. when business logic has to be factored out and business processes cut to an architecture backbone.

Assuming a common understanding of data models (conceptual, logical, physical), such business process backbones could support pragmatic, gradual, and integrated approaches to enterprise architecture.


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