Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Goverance and Enterprise Architecture Roadmaps

Many organizations struggle to establish and mature their Enterprise Architecture Roadmaps. The challenges they face are numerous: organizational change, cultural change, skills development, process change, technology adoption, etc. Enterprise Architecture Roadmaps improve alignment between business objectives and IT investment, and enhance communication between business and IT stakeholders.

Some organizations are finding support from the “10-Step Roadmapping Process” from the Enterprise Architecture Executive Council (EAEC; https://www.eaec.executiveboard.com/Public/Default.aspx). This process provides a customizable set of frameworks that embody the ‘Best Practices’ for building and maintaining sound roadmaps.

EAEC’s “10-Step Roadmapping Process” integrates Governance. Two aspects are emphasized: 1) Determine Ownership; and, 2) Establish Metrics.

Roles and responsibilities, especially around decision rights, are incorporated within the Determine Ownership aspect. To achieve Business-IT alignment the organizational structure and the group and individual performance objectives must also be considered and brought into alignment. The Determine Ownership aspect also sets the cadence for activities. This is critical to ensuring that progress meets key business deadlines while avoiding ‘quick shortcuts’ that jeopardize long-term business objectives.

Metrics are essential for establishing an objective and quantitative measure of success. EAEC’s “10-Step Roadmapping Process” emphasizes the success of Enterprise Architecture Roadmaps. However, metrics are also essential to measuring Business-IT Alignment, Financial-Execution Alignment, and Governance Alignment.

Just as Business-IT Alignment is architected ‘Top-Down’ from Business to IT, so to must Ownership and Metrics be architected ‘Top-Down’. This facilitates arriving at the minimum number of well-aligned roles and metrics necessary to achieve success.

__ Joseph Starwood (www.JosephStarwood.com)

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