April 24, 2008

A sample enterprise architecture implementation checklist

While reading past post found some of the basic activities that must take place as part of any enterprise architecture implementation. This list should give you an idea of what the enterprise architecture work is really all about:

• Study existing business practices.
Understanding the business model of your organization and, at a minimum, its high-level business processes is a pre-condition for commencing the enterprise architecture implementation.
• Engage with senior management to understand strategic intent.
Obviously, senior management holds a key to interpreting strategic vision. Understanding a vision is critical for the purposes of drawing the roadmap of the enterprise architecture, as this artifact will drive the "to-be" part of the architectural work to come (more about this below).
• Connect with the business community to uncover urgent needs.
While senior management may be envisioning the organization's future state, the business community holds more answers about its current state. Your goal is to extract those facts and level them with the expectations set by the strategic vision.
• Build a panoramic understanding of the existing technology environment.
Technology is a major enabler of business processes (the other one being people), which implies that you won't go too far without proper understanding of your main tool.
• Draw the improvement roadmap.
Having collected data from various sources, create a roadmap to advise the stakeholders -- including senior management, business, and technology leaders -- about how you intend to act upon the needs they have communicated to you.
• Keep enterprise architecture models up-to-date.
Needless to say, after you create the roadmap for the enterprise architecture and receive stakeholder approval on it, you ought to make the best effort to update it over time.