09 December, 2009

Are you a Business Architect or a Business Analyst?

Enterprise Architecture domains include Business Architecture which is the first architecture domain within TOGAF 9. An Enterprise Architecture program that includes this domain, maps critical business processes to their application, information, and infrastructure components to provide a comprehensive view of the business and IT landscape that enables informed decision-making.

Business Architects are supposed to manage Business Architecture, but who are they, what are their skills? How are they different to a Business Analyst or even a Project Manager?

Business Analysts are on the way to becoming Business Architects. Sometimes called IT Business Analysts, they are not strictly business or IT specialists. They write business cases (with very few technical terms), identify business requirements and often are part of a Development Team.

Based on many job descriptions and my observation below, is a grid of standard skills and responsibilities related to the function of a Business Analyst. In the second column, are the responsibilities also applicable to a Business Architect and in the last column comments on how TOGAF 9 recommend the activities to be addressed.

Expected skills and activitiesBusiness AnalystBusiness ArchitectComments related to TOGAF 9
Is an intermediary between IT and the business users, follows the implementation strategy with respect to getting stakeholder buy-in and support.xxBoth roles require to be positioned between IT and business.
In particular business processes of a line of business.xThe Business Architect considers the organization’s strategy and less focused in a specific line of business.
Acts as catalyst to implement strategic and tactical change for the business.xxThe Business Architect will focus more on strategic changes.
Works with end-user groups to assist with aligning IT to the department's business goals. Conduct feasibility studies to define the purpose, functions, and overall structure of business processesxxThe Business Architect in TOGAF 9 will use Business Scenario techniques.
May be involved in Business Process Management (BPM).xx
Performs analysis and documents business processes leading to process change and/or system implementation.xxThe Business Architect will model and process the business processes.
Operating as a more-or-less independent group that is focused on delivering BPM servicesxThe Business Architect will be working at a strategic level and will be less focused on the delivery of BPM services.
Does not have an IT background, but had, instead, a background in quality control.xThe Business Architect must have a perfect knowledge of the business.
Translates user requirements into software requirements that IT can then use to develop softwarexA Business Architect would not develop and review design specifications for software application. This would be the role of the Application Architect during Phase C.
Analyze and resolve software errors in a timely and accurate fashionxA Business Architect is not in charge of managing incidents linked to applications. IT operations may escalate this to the Development Team, or the vendor. Once a first level of diagnostic done, it will be transferred to one of the architects depending on the domain (technology, application).
Helps to develop and maintain software to support the business processes. Assist in developing system/application architecture.xThe Business Architect does not contribute to software development. This is done by the Solution Architect.
Leads and validates enterprise system designs across multiple business applications.xThe Business Architect does not lead Application Architecture. This will be done by the Application Architect and potentially the Solution Architect.
Creates and executes test plans to ensure that the functional and business requirements are met by the proposed solutionxThe Business Architect does not contribute to test plans. This is done probably by the Solution Architect.
Documents and defines processes, eliminating activities that don't add value and straightening out the flow of the activities.xxIn the TOGAF 9 Phase B we would do this by documenting the baseline and target architecture and do a gap analysis, identifying the various business architecture building blocks to be eliminated.
Determining how business policies are implemented in business rules.xxBusiness rules have to be identified and implemented when business processes documented in both baseline and target architecture. Can be done at both strategic and tactical level.
Analyses customer needs and the processes customers go through to interact with an organization are key skills that any business process practitioner needs to be effective.xxBusiness scenarios would be used to identify business requirements.
Creates, manages and maintains an optimum business architecture that includes informational, organizational, process, performance and systems architecture.xThe Business Analyst focus more on projects delivery. The Business Architect is mostly focused on the delivery of the Business Architecture.
Defines, socializes and implements Business Architecture. Reviews roadmap projects for impact and compliance. xBusiness Architecture roadmaps will be delivered from the gap analysis.
Identifies and facilitates cross divisional continuous business improvement initiatives.xThe Business Architect works at a strategic level and focus mostly on Strategic Architecture.
Member of the Architecture Board, composed of representative process owners who approve any cross organizational business process changes.xBusiness Architects should be part of the Architecture Board.
Identifies and maintains an up to date picture of opportunities and risks.xxRisks have to be identified during both the Architecture vision phase and the development of the solution.
Experienced in business/process architecture including broad skills in the area of strategy mapping, business analysis skills, conceptual data and process modeling/design, EA frameworks.xThe Business Architect must have these skills. The Business Analyst may focus on process modeling only.
Strong work experience in Project and Change management.xxBoth roles require these skills.
Proven track record for working effectively with technical and business functions.xThe Business Architect must work with other domain's architects.

My observations are:

Business Analysts are much closer to IT. They often are assigned to a specific Line of Business, which is close to the Development Team, and are implicated in software development. They may be part of the Development Team or the Project Management Office. The Business Architect reports to managers or senior managers who may be business or IT but are independent of any project. They have a global view on most business and will be responsible for modeling the business as a whole, then working top down to "architect" encompassing end to end business processes. Their role is more horizontal and is considered a neutral voice and because of that will make more critical decisions than a Business Analyst.

Business Analysts document requirements as defined by users during workshops. A Business Architect documents and may contribute to define a business strategy using requirements provided by the users if that strategy is not finalized. The Business Architect must have the ability to think in both a strategic and tactical manner whereas a Business Analyst is normally tactical.

The Business Analyst operates within the confines of a predetermined application and technology architecture. A Business Architect is a part of the decision making process to define the IT architecture (Data, Application and Technology). He will have a strong influence directing information technology to meet business needs, and assist in identifying business inefficiencies and opportunities.

Business Architect must be cognizant of enterprise strategies whereas a Business Analyst is normally concerned with specific projects independent of enterprise strategy.

27 October, 2009

The role of the Solution Architect during the implementation

In my previous article I describe the role of the Solution Architect within the TOGAF ADM, mostly acting between phases E to G, with a specific focus on E (Opportunities and Solutions) and F (Migration Planning). This article will cover the role in phase G: Implementation governance.

The objective of that phase is to formulate recommendations for each implementation project, and govern and manage an architecture contract covering the overall system implementation and deployment. In companies where the maturity is high, it would be perfectly acceptable to have the Solution Architect acting in the name of the Enterprise Architecture team and coordinate activities during the phase G.

TOGAF defines objectives during that phase and each of them may be detailed as follows.

To formulate recommendations for each implementation project (Source: TOGAF 9)

The Solution Architect with the Enterprise Architecture team and the Development Team:

  • Participates in assessment of solutions needs consistent with the global business strategies
  • Re-analyzes business practices.
  • Provides business analysis and documents process design of system functions and processes as identified in the phase B.
  • Recommends application design within the development team. Supervises and ensures quality delivery of the analysis, design, and build of the hardware, network, and common software platform components of software releases with the development team.
  • Assesses identified technologies from the phase D, and makes sure that solution options are based on the target architecture. Note: He will be directly accountable for the acceptance of technology architecture deliverables by the client.
  • Participates in the planning, development, maintenance, installation, configuration, documentation, training and implementation of new applications/solutions. He is accountable for the documenting requirements (hardware, network, and configuration) captured during the previous ADM phases. He may also develop the engineering documentation.
  • Participates in the development of functional specifications for developers related to modifying functionality, report development, outputs and interfaces.
  • Works with internal customers, external consultants, IT staff and other stakeholders to refine requirements when needed.
  • Leads and participates in developing and facilitating end user workshops for the solution.
  • Supports existing applications within the company’s active portfolio and extends their use where appropriate according to the gap analysis.
  • Coordinates and/or participates in the planning and execution of application testing.

To govern and manage an Architecture Contract covering the overall implementation and deployment process (Source: TOGAF 9)

He identifies if there are any issues between the architecture and the implementation organization.

To perform appropriate governance functions while the solution is being implemented and deployed (Source: TOGAF 9)

He will refer to existing governance best practices such as IT Service Management, Project Management, Risk Management, Security Management, and Audit management (for example).

To ensure conformance with the defined architecture by implementation projects and other projects (Source: TOGAF 9)

He will Review ongoing implementation governance and architecture compliance for each building block.

To ensure that the program of solutions is deployed successfully, as a planned program of work (Source: TOGAF 9)

He will Review ongoing implementation governance and architecture compliance for each building block.

To ensure conformance of the deployed solution with the Target Architecture (Source: TOGAF 9)

He will support the architecture design review using a customized checklist as defined in TOGAF.

To mobilize supporting operations that will underpin the future working lifetime of the deployed solution (Source: TOGAF 9)

The Solution Architect with the Enterprise Architecture team and the IT Operation Team:

  • Helps to monitor and supports the operations architecture of for hardware, network, and common software platforms (including configuration approach, deployment, approach, and monitoring approach).
  • Supports all hardware, network, and common software platforms in Development, Production, and Operations environments. Must be aware of the status of the system in all environments, and must communicate and manage environment related risks and activities.
  • Supports build team by managing configuration of hardware, network, and common software platforms (like Application Servers).
  • Establishes and maintains relationship with key clients with-in client IT organization.
  • Develops and implements plan for increasing level of technical architecture skill in program staff.
  • Ensures consistent implementation of technical components across release activities with the IT Service Management team if it exists (e.g. release manager).
  • Identifies production infrastructure related issues in the production environment with the help of both the Service Desk and the System Management team if they exist. Creates and implements issue resolution plans that have to be escalated to the Enterprise Architecture team.

This diagram is a high level representation of the Solution Architect’s activities interacting with all parties involved in the architecture development and delivery.

This approach where many activities are led by a designated Solution Architect. The alternative being to share the role between several architects from the Enterprise Architecture team.

09 September, 2009

Enterprise Architecture, TOGAF and Solution Architects

Quite often people wonder where a Solution Architect fits within the TOGAF Framework and it is not obvious that there is a single answer. I suggest we look first at a generic profile for a Solution Architect.

Companies such as Oracle, Cisco, SAP and others have roles called Solution Architect but with little apparent agreement to what that role is.

Some commonalities between various skills are:

· Strategic business acumen (understand business requirements and strategy)
· Technical analysis
· Broad and deep technical knowledge
· Technical leadership (the trusted, technical advisor for assigned line of business, providing thought leadership and application of technology to business problems)
· Data Architect
· Shapes the evolution of company’s products
· Maps product requirements and business problems to re-usable end-to-end technology solutions
· Uses methodologies and frameworks (using best practices and common patterns, including database, component layers, user interfaces, web services, and integration patterns)
· Builds and deploys new functionality and extend applications (driving the development of those solutions by guiding and mentoring the development team through the entire development process. Some development will be required for shared services and components or technically challenging areas where the skills of an architect are needed).
· Software architect (must understand and contribute to all levels of design needed for the solution (business, data, application, technology))
· Deep experience developing enterprise solutions using all aspects of the .NET platform, open source or Java (or any other environment), Web Services, multithreaded programming, designing and building frameworks, enterprise patterns, SQL design and development, and database tuning
· Coder (build and code prototypes and frameworks)
· Hands-on experience
· Performance and load testing, development tools
· Works with major lines of business and IT Development teams
· Is a member of the Enterprise Architecture team
· Documents solution designs and how they interact with the larger Enterprise Architecture

Now looking at TOGAF, we need to consider a few definitions such as the Architecture Building Blocks (ABBs) and the Solutions Building Blocks (SBBs).

Building Block – A (potentially re-usable) component of business, IT or architectural capability

  • Architecture Building Block (ABB)

o A constituent of the architecture model that describes a single aspect of the overall model
o Describe required capability
o Shape the specification of SBBs

  • Solutions Building Block (SBB)

o Represents components that will be used to implement the required capability
o A candidate physical solution for an Architecture Building Block (ABB); e.g., a Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) package that is a component of the Acquirer view of the architecture

All ABBs will be stored in the Architecture Landscape of the Architecture Repository. These ABBs will have different levels of granularity to suit different architectural objectives.

The Architecture Definition Document which describes an architecture will contain all artifacts describing as views the building blocks.

During the Phase E, Opportunities and Solutions, we identify work packages and group them into projects, consolidate the gap analysis results from phases B to D, identify the building blocks to be developed or acquired reusing the existing ones (stored in the Architecture Repository) as much as we can. From there, we identify the SBBs which could potentially address one or more gaps and their associated ABBs. Existing SBBs have obviously also to be considered taking the interoperability requirements and dependencies into consideration.

The Solution Architect has a key role in this phase as (s)he will probably be the best qualified to identify the appropriate SBBs. He or she participates in the definition of any Transition Architectures, identifies potential solutions, and helps to formulate a high-level implementation and migration strategy.

During the Migration Planning phase they also have an important mission to ensure that SBBs are properly designed or that acquired solutions support business requirements. The Solution Architect may work closely with the vendor if a COTS solution is considered. A solution includes the hardware, software, and supporting people and documentation to solve a problem.

“The gaps in the existing enterprise solutions framework need to be identified and the specific Solution Building Blocks (SBBs) required to fill these gaps will be the identified by the solutions architects. These SBBs may have a one-to-one or many-to-one relationship with the projects. The solutions architects need to define exactly how this will be done. There may be other projects working on these same capabilities and the solutions architects need to ensure that they can leverage best value from these investments.”

Source: TOGAF 9 (15.4.1)

When the Implementation Governance phase is started, the Solution Architect will work in partnership with the procurer/acquirer in addition to the development team and/or the vendor. He will ensure that the development will comply with the target architecture.

When the solution building blocks are developed or integrated with other existing solutions, the Solution Architect will be working with the development team. His role will be to contribute to the design, development, integration and testing of the new components. This may be considered as being the Solution Architecture activity.

A Solution Architecture typically applies to a single project or project release, assisting in the translation of requirements into a solution vision, high level business and/or IT system specifications and a portfolio of implementation tasks.

Solution architecture starts with an understanding of the problem, which should be documented in the business scenario, and this is where so many projects fail. Too many people have the idea that solving a problem is all about coding.

The Solution Architect is a member of the Enterprise Architecture team but becomes at a later stage also a member of the Development team. His role is mixed; he is the bridge between concepts and implementation. However, the Solution Architect does not operate at the Strategic Architecture level (at the level of the Enterprise) but mostly at Segment and Capability Architecture levels.

“The Solution Architect has the responsibility for architectural design and documentation
at a system or subsystem level, such as management or security. A Solution Architect may shield the Enterprise/Segment Architect from the unnecessary details of the systems, products, and/or technologies. The focus of the Solution Architect is on system technology solutions; for example, a component of a solution such as enterprise data warehousing.”

Source TOGAF9 (52.6.3)

There is no mapping for a Solution Architect in the TOGAF Skills Framework, but I would suggest, based on my experience, the following proficiency levels:

TOGAF proficiency levels:

Source TOGAF9 (52.4.4)

This approach is related to the current situation in the market for Solutions Architects, where we see that most of their activities are limited to phases E to G. Another approach would be to consider a Solution Architect being involved in all phases of the TOGAF ADM from phase A and on-wards. A follow-up paper will describe how to address solutions from Phase A , when constraints exist, defining the role and responsibilities of a Solution Architect.

16 July, 2009

Development of an Enterprise Architecture Communication Plan

As a strategic activity for IT, communication is important for the effective management of both internal and external relationships. The IT function in many organizations operates with highly diverse stakeholders from different parts of the world. The situation has evolved rapidly over the last years through (standardization, globalization, and optimization…).

Communication significantly impacts how IT is perceived by the organization, and therefore it plays a crucial role in the successful positioning of IT as an internal partner. Moreover, given the competitive market pressure the position of IT within the company is the same that of an external IT provider. Hence the same level of professionalism in terms of quality and efficiency are demanded.

Communication concerns all business and IT employees whether they are managers, staff assigned to communication roles, or IT employees with technical tasks. Internally, multinational companies and global departments demand excellent communication and intercultural skills from employees and managers. This philosophy holds true for the field of IT. Smooth working processes and good performance are dependent on effective communications, especially in periods of change.

Effective communication is part of the overall plan for management of an Enterprise Architecture Program. An Enterprise Architecture communication document has to identify stakeholders of the organization’s Enterprise Architecture Program, the information needs of those stakeholders, and the communication strategy to be followed by the program in meeting those needs.

The goals of the Architecture Board, as established by (usually) the organization’s Management Committee’s mission and charter, requires a successful communication strategy. The Enterprise Architecture and the operations of the program charged with evolving that architecture are important topics that must be communicated by the program if the Enterprise Architecture initiative is to succeed.

The plan consists of sections devoted to an identified stakeholder group (you may reuse the stakeholders management defined in TOGAF). Within each section, the plan would identify:

  • The members of the stakeholder group
  • The TOGAF Enterprise Architecture Framework role(s) to which the stakeholder group maps
  • The information needs of the stakeholder group defined in the Architecture Vision The communication strategy to be followed by the program in meeting the information needs of the stakeholder group

This plan should be a living document, and as such should be updated on a regular basis to reflect new stakeholder groups, new information needs, and new communication strategies. It is important that the Enterprise Architecture Program be held accountable for implementation of this plan, and that the Architecture Board regularly reviews progress with the Program Director.

Stakeholder General Communication

Stakeholders are people who have key roles in, or concerns about, the system. Different stakeholders with different roles in the system will have different concerns. Stakeholders can be individuals, teams, or organizations (or classes thereof).

The list of stakeholders can be also based on the existing Business and IT organization and structure. It also takes into consideration recommendation from HR department addressing the various ways of communicating to various groups of people.

The various stakeholders may include (examples):

- Executive Management Board
- C-levels
- Business Users Advisory Board
- Business Units
- Procurement
- Architecture Board
- IT Units
- Enterprise Architecture team
- Customers
- Developers

The communication plan should take into consideration all groups (use best practices from EA frameworks such as TOGAF), the IT organization and the HR recommendations.

These groups will have to be clearly defined as probably some of the communication tools and techniques will have to be tailored for each community.

General Information Needs

The following information needs to be applied to all stakeholders.

  1. Understand what Enterprise Architecture is (at least at a high level)
  2. Understand the value, benefits, and importance of Enterprise Architecture to the business.
  3. Understand how the Architecture Board and Enterprise Architecture Program are contributing to the pursuit of the organization’s business objectives.

General Communication Tools

To meet these general information needs, the Enterprise Architecture Program should implement the following communications tools.

  1. A set of basic information materials describing the scope of the Enterprise Architecture. This set of materials will describe the value, benefits, and importance of Enterprise Architecture. The materials will be brief and concise, and may consist of: one-page briefing or brochure, key concept map, Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ) document, position paper, and a presentation.
  2. In all status reporting, Committee and Program achievements will be explicitly linked to the organization’s business objectives.
  3. The basic Enterprise Architecture scope and value materials, as well as some high-level business-oriented status information, will be available (and prominently displayed) on the Enterprise Architecture website. These materials should be suitable for use/delivery by Architecture Board members as well as program staff. (The use of systems such as a CMS (Content Management System)would allow delivering information based on roles.)

Communication Matrix

A matrix should then be built which associates the various communication tools to the various stakeholders (see example below)

This matrix associates the communication tools to the various stakeholders. Each stakeholder, communication tool should then be described in that document and be related to various steps of the Enterprise Architecture governance.

The various views will also have to be defined in annexes.

Communication Planning

A Communication planning will have to be defined (see example below).

Implementation steps

To implement such a communication plan, the following steps will have to be completed:

  1. Validate if all stakeholders have been taken into consideration
  2. Define the content of each communication tool (reports, newsletters, verbal communication, etc.)
  3. Ensure that the appropriated communication tools are associated to the right stakeholders
  4. Implement the Communication Plan with the Business and the IT Department
  5. Once all communication tools are formalized and approved, identify the Business Units and roll out the communication plan to these stakeholders
  6. Once on board, roll out the communication plan to the Executive Management Board and C-levels

15 July, 2009

Should the IT Strategist role disappear with Enterprise Architecture?

Many companies in their IT department have two units: IT Strategy & Planning and Enterprise Architecture. As regularly these are two different people managing these units, there is a high risk this ends up in serious conflicts.

The IT Strategist needs to understand the organization’s overall business strategy and is supposed to develop a comprehensive IT Strategic Plan that aligns with the business strategy (linkage, support of goals and objectives, etc.). He will continually assess all areas in the IT department to make sure their efforts and initiatives support this IT strategic plan, highlight gaps and identify alternatives to close gaps. During the development of the IT Strategic Plan (creation and maintenance of a detailed project plan (schedule, WBS, etc.) for the development and execution) , he interacts with various IT and Business Governance committees, and supports the execution and the evaluation of that plan.

How much is this different from one of the role of any Chief Enterprise Architect?

Among various roles the Chief Enterprise Architect ensures that the organization’s strategy is understood and acted on. Ideally, he should contribute to the strategy itself. He also has to understand, advocate and support the organization’s business and IT strategies.

Enterprise Architecture should be used to develop an IT Strategy. The EA team is in charge of implementing an EA program, which involves articulating the desired future state, understanding the current state, identifying the gaps between the two states and developing approaches to close these gaps. The team is leading the creation or evolution of the EA function or program, including the coordination of an appropriately balanced pursuit of enterprise business, information, application, technology and solution architecture viewpoints. Understand new technology future IT directions and how they can Impact the business.

When creating the new architecture (blueprint or high level architecture) which is based on the business goals and directions, they will identify new technology options and key finding from IT assets mapping and technology as-is mapping. The gap analysis will document each element that we mapped in the current state and translate this into roadmaps with dependencies and assignments: group gaps into projects, write one page of project high level analysis, assign resources to projects and creating a road map.

MODAF Acquisition Views will help to define these projects including dependencies.

FEAF in section 4 EA Transition Strategy / TOGAF Phases E (Opportunities and Solutions) and F (Migration Planning) describe similar activities.

Enterprise Architecture is a bridge to make the connection between business side planning and enterprise IT strategy making. When successful it delivers the IT strategy documentation.

The role of the IT Strategist should be split into two sets of activities (Enterprise Architecture and PMO (project management office) and does not make anymore sense when an organization has these two units.

12 June, 2009

Aligning ITIL V3 Service Design with TOGAF 9

ITIL V3 is structured in 5 modules, one of them being The Service Design book. This book refers to technology-related activities (requirements engineering; data/information management and application management). It also covers some of the practicalities: functional roles analysis; activity analysis; roles/responsibilities; and even service design and management tools. Service Design processes are important because they provide organizations with information that will affect their decisions on designing solutions for new or changed services-

Service Design has five aspects:

  • Design of the service solutions
  • Design of the Service Portfolio (and other supporting systems)
  • Design of the technology architectures and management systems
  • Design of the processes
  • Design of the measurement systems, methods and metrics

Section 3.6.3 on page 35, provides a specific context for the terms “architecture” and “system” which is well aligned with ISO/IEC 42010:2007 definition used by TOGAF 9.

”Architecture” is defined as:

“The fundamental organization of a system, embodied in its components, their relationships to each other and to the environment, and the principles guiding its design and evolution.”

”System ” in this definition is used in the most general, not necessarily IT, sense:

“A collection of components organized to accomplish a specific function or set of functions.“

”architectural design” as :

“The development and maintenance of IT policies, strategies, architectures, designs, documents, plans and processes for the deployment and subsequent operation and improvement of appropriate IT services and solutions throughout an organization.”

In ITIL V3, IT policies and strategies are defined by senior management during the Service Strategy phase of the service lifecycle. These policies may be also be reused during the Preliminary Phase of TOGAF 9. The Preliminary Phase allows us to establish the business context, customize TOGAF, define architecture principles, and establish the governance structure. Architectural Principles are general rules and guidelines that support the way in which an organization sets about fulfilling its mission. These principles should be the source for the creation of IT policies.

Service Architects and Designers will need to consider several resources such as (budgets, infrastructures, applications, information, and people) and capabilities (management, organization, processes, knowledge, and people) of the organization defined by TOGAF 9. This will have to be coordinated with the business requirements which may have been collected from a Business Scenario (TOGAF). Using inputs from the business and Service Strategy in ITIL V3, the design needs to take into consideration, people, processes, products, and partners. Also designers will have to take into consideration, the vision, mission, goals, and objectives in order to translate them into critical success factors, key performance indicators, metrics and measurements.

Documents in ITIL V3 may be considered as being artifacts in TOGAF 9. Artifacts consist of plans, contracts (Architecture contracts or other forms of contracts), job descriptions, organizational structures, process workflows, procedures, instructions, configuration, diagrams, catalogs, lists, and databases among many other document types.

One of the major difficulties for the designer will be to sort through this documentation and remove that which is obsolete, duplicated, incomplete, or erroneous. TOGAF with its Architecture repository may also help to store documents related to IT Service Management. You may also think of combining a CMDB with an Architecture Repository…but that would be another topic to discuss.

Although plans should be considered as documents, it is important to identify and sift through the myriads of plans that are in use in the organization. Plans may be produced by different lines of business including IT, issued by business planning committees, PMO, etc. Some of the difficulties will include gathering them (business plans, IT plans, operational plans, contingency plans, financial plans.etc.) , making sense of them and more importantly, making sure they are aligned. For these reasons, the TOGAF Migration Planning phase helps to coordinate different business areas and create a common plan.

The term architecture within ITIL V3 may be aligned with the 4 architecture domains from TOGAF:

  • Business Architecture: for Business, organization and enterprise
  • Data Architecture: for data and information, databases
  • Application Architecture: for applications
  • Technology Architecture: for hardware (desktops, mobile devices, servers, and mainframes), network, telephony and software

Some aspects may not be covered by architecture domains such the Environment (heat, ventilation, AC, etc.), or the physical workspace including safety (this would be covered by Security Architecture considered during the ADM phases).

Services would be a combination of the four domains.

The Service Design activities and processes covers:

  • Service Level Management
  • Availability Management
  • IT Service Continuity Management
  • Supplier Management
  • Information Security Management
  • Capacity Management
  • Service Catalogue Management

These processes can be designed when building the Technology Architecture with the Technical Reference Model (TRM).

Page 37 of the Service Design book refers to many documented practices available for designing, deploying, and operating service architecture. It lists Enterprise Architecture frameworks, one of them being TOGAF!

21 May, 2009

TOGAF 9 Migration Planning and Project Portfolio Management

Phase F in TOGAF helps to describe how to create a viable implementation and migration plan in co-operation with the portfolio and project managers. Very often companies already have in place a Project Portfolio Management framework and there may be a need to integrate your enterprise architecture with that.

As an example, PMI has introduced a standard for Portfolio Management, and portfolio managers have a resource to help them develop professionally and achieve success for themselves and their enterprise. Within an organization, a portfolio represents a collection of active programs, projects and other work undertaken at a specific point in time to help the organization achieve strategic objectives. In essence, a portfolio reflects the priorities, investments and resource allocations.

Project Portfolio Management (PPM) may be part of an enterprise governance framework. It is a management process designed to help the organization-:

-To ensure that the organization is doing the "right things", optimally allocating scarce resources toward the enterprise’s objectives
-To acquire and view information about all projects
-To sort and prioritize each project according to certain criteria, such as strategic value, resource impact, cost, and so on.

PPM has several activities which are similar to the objectives of managing a financial portfolio:

-The identification of all the individual demands in the portfolio
-The development of a "big picture" view and a deeper understanding of the collection as a whole
-The sensible sorting, adding, and removing of items from the collection based on their costs, benefits, and alignment with long-term strategies or goals.

In a nutshell, Portfolio Management can help zero in on the projects that are most worth their effort; project management can help execute those projects most efficiently.

These activities can be perfectly integrated with Phase F of TOGAF. Once the work packages, projects and building blocks inventory is created, the enterprise architecture team with the portfolio managers (and other important stakeholders) will examine each project and prioritize it according to established criteria. They will probably assign a business value; conduct a cost business analysis for each project (done in collaboration with business people); identify the risks to the projects.

The overall list of projects is then considered to develop a well-balanced list of supported projects and provide an input for a detailed implementation and migration plan. It will also help to confirm the Transition Architecture defined in the phase E. The use of an Architecture definition increments table is highly recommended to list these projects.

Some projects will be given high priority and extensive support, some will be given moderate priority, and still others will be placed on hold or dropped entirely from the list. This will also help to finalize the Architecture roadmap. Finally, resources will need to be identified and made available.

Other Governance domains may also be to be integrated in the PPM process and Phase F, such as Risk Management (e.g. RiskIT), Project Management (e.g. PMI, PRINCE 2), etc.

Companies who are mature in Portfolio Management activities may integrate their existing work practices easily with TOGAF. This would enforce the relationship between the Enterprise Architecture team and the PMO (or the PPM team).

(You can also refer to another post: Why do we not find yet links between Enterprise Architecture and Project Portfolio Management? )

21 April, 2009

Keep an eye on OneCMDB and the CMDB Federation

OneCMDB Version 2.0 is a real interesting concept and product as this may be one of the first IT Service Management solution developed in an Open Source mode. It will not replace your Service Desk solution but may help companies with limited budget or companies which have a wide diversity of existing catalogs of assets. It is only covering Configuration Management as a process and in some way IT Assets management. For those who are using Nagios, there exist some connectors.

This has been initially developed by Lokomo Systems using Java but I’m not sure how does that fit with the CMDB Federation Group (I wrote a post on the subject in 2007) if it still exists….(I haven’t seen any indication of activity since January 2008 and maybe this is a dead project…).

In any case, keep an eye on both…

Deliverables, Artifacts And Catalogs-Matrices: Some examples

Quite often as an Enterprise Architects we are asked to show what the deliverables of an Enterprise Architecture program are.

TOGAF provides a methodology for analyzing your specific situation and turning that analysis into deliverables and actionable artifacts. Artifacts may have different shapes as defined in TOGAF 9. They may be: Catalogs, matrices or diagrams. EA artifacts may also help to define a standard set of document types such as education, strategy, decision, policy, standard, guideline, etc. It is also recommended that you set up a simple online discussion thread or wiki for each artifact to solicit feedback from artifact consumers.

Enterprise Architects should ensure that their efforts to create architecture documentation produce meaningful results by creating artifacts that connect with the consumer, drive decisions, and will allow the development of reusable building blocks.

If we consider the various architecture domains, they may have different forms.
As examples-
in Business Architecture, they could be the views of the Business stakeholders. The matrices between business strategy and the main business functions. The diagrams showing the relationship between processes and information. The Value Chains. Business and Operating models of the Enterprise. Customizing the configuration of the Business Functions according to model --- and more.

The artifacts for Data or Information architecture may refer to an information map or diagram . It could also show the mapping between data items and the Business Information map.

Artifacts for Application Architecture, could show the key interconnections between applications, middleware connection matrices. There may also exists views for Portal Architecture, Enterprise Content Management , Identity management, Business Intelligence, ERPs and CRMs.

Last but not least, Technology Architecture artifacts may propose servers and storage technology diagrams, office views (file, printing, data base servers, etc...), LAN/WAN/Voice Network architecture diagrams, applications and interconnections mapping to technology servers and networks, infrastructure security diagrams. In addition to that, there may be a certain numbers of artifacts related to the company’s organization, organization chart, lines of business mapping to business functions, organization roles in organization units and job descriptions.
Many graphical tools may aid to develop diagrams or document matrices but may also be quite costly. The use of spreadsheet may be a first step in building artifacts such as matrices. The following examples illustrate how they may simply be build with Excel.

List of Metadata

Data-Business process matrix
Application Inventory List

These are very basic example of what artifacts may look like. They may rapidly be created and are definitely a way to explain to the EA stakeholders how the first deliverables of our baseline architecture looks like.

25 March, 2009

TOGAF 9 introduces a very appealing concept of Capability-based planning for Business People

TOGAF 9 promotes a very interesting concept related to Capability-based planning which is an approach more focused on business issues and outcomes. TOGAF 9 defines a capability as “An ability that an organization, person, or system possesses. Capabilities are typically expressed in general and high-level terms and typically require a combination of organization, people, processes, and technology to achieve. For example, marketing, customer contact, or outbound telemarketing. “

Capabilities are in fact the building blocks of business. A business capability typically defines what a business unit‘s purpose is (goals and objectives), its core competencies, and is therefore directly bound to business objectives and strategy. Capabilities provide a black-box view of those things the business can do, i.e. working on business artifacts (e.g. Business Processes, Catalogs).

The business processes and resources involved in providing the capabilities are not exposed (business service orientation). Capabilities aren‘t isolated but form hierarchical value-networks with relationships that materialize the business processes. At a lower level, capabilities are modeled using traditional activity diagrams used for the design and implementation of IT solutions.

The key elements of capabilities-based planning are a conceptual framework, an analytical framework and a building block approach to applying the frameworks.

· A conceptual framework allows for business planning under uncertainty by emphasizing flexibility, robustness and adaptive capability
· The analytical framework provides a way to assess business capability options at the operational level and choose among capability alternatives
· A building block approach allows us to define, develop and test individual capabilities within their own business domains

Capabilities them can be developed and evaluated within smaller architecture domains from phase B to phase D, and then later combined to describe joint forces capabilities in Transition Architectures identified in phases E-F.

Capability Based Planning also revolves around the establishment of the capacity and ability to execute a designated set of generic tasks, bringing enormous help when entering the Opportunities & Solutions and Migration Planning phases. It is an effective way of selling the value of Enterprise Architecture to the business, without being too much theoretical…

You may also find this post as a PDF document on the Integration Consortium website.