A call for collaboration on enterprise-architecture

Ever since I saw Alex Osterwalder’s brilliant business-architecture book Business Model Generation a few months back, it’s been obvious to me that we need something of the same clarity, simplicity and quality for the broader discipline of whole-of-enterprise architecture.

We all know that the lumbering behemoths like TOGAF and FEAF won’t do the job: they’re barely usable for IT-centric architectures, let alone a true whole-of-enterprise architecture, and they’re unreadable for a business-audience anyway. We need something simpler, that’s much easier to use, and looks good as well.

I believe I now have sufficient tools and frameworks and processes and the like to cover all of the key areas of whole-of-enterprise architecture, all the way from high-level strategy to detail-level execution. (Arrogant of me, I know… 🙂 ) What I need help on is testing a new integration between all of these items, making sure it all works, making it simpler, and then simpler again, and making sure that it will make sense for all of the different stakeholder-groups who’ll need to be involved in the architecture.

So I’m aiming to run a series of experimental one-day workshops on this over the next couple of months, to ask for your input and advice – much like Osterwalder did with his ‘Business Model Hub’ peer-group. That’ll help me a lot.

What you get out of this is a free workshop on the latest thinking in enterprise-architecture – far in advance of anything you’d get from any of the ‘big-name’ consultancies – and practical experience in how to apply it in your own work. You’ll also get priority on further developments – including toolsets to support all of this work.

Some examples of what would be covered in the workshop (and in the final book and the like) would include:

  • how to map out the organisation’s extended-enterprise
  • how to identify enterprise-values so that your business’s ‘value-propositions’ actually mean something to the market
  • how to structure everything in the organisation around a true service-oriented architecture
  • how to identify the pervasive-services you need within your organisation, so as to ensure alignment with the enterprise-values
  • how to monitor ‘ability to do work’ within the organisation – and how to use that information to enhance enterprise effectiveness
  • how to model all types of structures within the enterprise – not solely the structures of the enterprise-IT
  • how to use architecture-maturity to guide the activities needed to enhance effectiveness at each stage
  • how to link architecture to implementation, and strategy to execution
  • how to leverage all existing investments in enterprise-architecture to expand outward to a whole-of-enterprise scope

I would aim to hold workshops on this in at least three different locations:

(I could add other venues, including further afield, but if so I would need some help with flights and/or accommodation.)

So I’m looking for collaborators who could help me set this up and run it:

  • suitable venue (including whiteboard, projector, printer, work-desks etc)
  • somewhere to stay
  • word-of-mouth advertising
  • logistics-support (transport to/from the venue etc)

This is all exploratory, so keeping the costs to the minimum that would still ensure a good-quality result will really help.

If you’re interested, please get in touch with me as soon as possible, via comments here, via Twitter (@tetradian) or via email (tom , tetradian , com – insert ‘at’ and ‘dot’ in the respective places).

2 Comments on “A call for collaboration on enterprise-architecture

  1. I’ve been trying to buy a copy of Business Model Generation but Amazon.co.uk says its not yet released!
    However the extract on their web site does look good and a style worth copying for an Enterprise Architecture book.

  2. The original BMGen book was privately published; they sold the rights to Wiley, and one of the conditions was that they pull the existing edition from the shelves. The Wiley edition is due out in early July; you can pre-order on the Amazon sites (at least, both .com and .co.uk), but until then you’ll have to make do with the sample-download. 🙁 (Though the sample does give more than enough to get started – strongly recommended. 🙂 )

    One of the main aims of the workshops described above – if they happen, though London on 19 June definitely looks possible now – is to clarify the content that should go into an EA equivalent. The Business Model Canvas is only one small part of business-architecture, which in turn is only one small part of enterprise-architecture: the hard part is going to be finding a way to bring all of that complexity down to a few core ideas that work together and that have the elegant simplicity of the Canvas. I think I’m getting there, but we’ll know more about that after the workshops.

    If you can’t make it to a workshop but could perhaps arrange a meetup some other time on this, please let me know? – many thanks!

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