Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Enterprise Architecture Roadmaps & Milestones

The Enterprise Architecture defines essential business and IT capabilities. The Enterprise Architecture Roadmap specifies the dependency-order among these capabilities. Realizing the Enterprise Architecture Roadmap requires that each milestone be implemented as changes to the IT Environment through IT Portfolio Projects and/or IT Asset Initiatives.

Whether separate or combined, most organizations perform IT Portfolio Planning and IT Asset Planning. This planning involves developing a business case and estimates to support prioritization and investment.

Enterprise Architecture provides the Technical Approach for each IT Portfolio Project and IT Asset Initiative. The Technical Approach, a directional document, identifies describes the Enterprise Architecture Roadmap milestone associated with the project or initiative. The description includes the general technical direction, risks, assumptions, dependencies, and benefits. The Technical Approach establishes a rational basis for prioritizing and estimating the project or initiative.

As each IT Portfolio Project or IT Asset Initiative begins, Enterprise Architecture provisions a Project Start Architecture [Cutter Consortium, 2010], also referred to as a Target Architecture [TOGAF Version 9, 2009]. The Project Start Architecture conforms to the established Technical Approach, and may add new Enterprise Architecture requirements or constraints defined since the planning stage. It presents the Conceptual Architecture for the intended IT solution, and may also include Logical and Physical Architecture aspects when providing specific direction to the project or initiative.

Architecture Governance is applied consistently. Milestone reviews (a.k.a.: Gate reviews) are conducted for the Technical Approach and the Project Start Architecture as well as the subsequent Software Architecture Document (SAD). When Architecture Issues arise, the Architecture Review Board (ARB) engages with the project or initiative to provide a resolution. In some cases, the ARB grants an Architecture Exception (Exemption) that may specify a future remedy.

__ Joseph Starwood (www.JosephStarwood.com)

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