ARCHITECTURE FOR SENIOR MANAGERS: PART 1
of a two-part Series that addresses Enterprise Architecture from a Senior
Enterprise Architecture for Senior Managers - Part 1
AUSTRALIA – October 13, 2000:
discussed the interdependence of Enterprise Architecture and Enterprise
Portals in TEN#7 in September 1999. We return to the same theme in this issue,
which is the first article of a two-part series that addresses Enterprise
Architecture from a senior management perspective. It highlights the important
role that senior managers must take to ensure Enterprise Architecture success.
This issue also announces upcoming conferences and seminars that will assist
second part of this series on Enterprise Architecture for senior managers will
appear in the next issue of TEN, in approximately 4 weeks’ time. The complete
two-part article has been drawn from a recently completed Enterprise
Architecture project for senior managers of an enterprise.
TEN - The Enterprise Newsletter
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ARCHITECTURE FOR SENIOR MANAGERS – PART 1
establishment of Enterprise Architecture is a vital first step for Commercial,
Government or Defense enterprises that conduct e-Business in the 21st
Century. Enterprise Architecture is critical for effective e-Commerce systems
and databases, and for Enterprise Portals. This two-part article outlines why
e-Business success is the responsibility of senior managers as well as
Information Technology (IT) staff. In fact, the true success differentiator is
the degree of senior management involvement in setting Enterprise Architecture
directions for implementation by IT staff.
is Enterprise Architecture?
building construction, with a history of thousands of years. Over this time it
was found that Architecture is an essential prerequisite for the construction of
all buildings. These buildings may include residential houses, all commercial
and government buildings, and skyscrapers. In fact every building, except
perhaps very simple huts, can benefit from Architecture. For without proper
planning and design as carried out by architects, problems can arise as follows:
design or construction materials used for the building may not be adequate,
and so it may fail. This failure can be in terms of quality that may lead to
design or construction materials used for the building may in fact be
adequate, but the method of construction may take longer and so cost more
than it should.
building may be constructed correctly, but not meet specific needs of
planning authorities, or the owners and occupiers and so can represent
wasted effort and cost.
architect will specify standard sizes for doorways and windows so that
prefabricated components can be used to reduce the time and cost of
applies to other activities: the design and manufacture of airplanes for
example. Airplane architecture has a history of 100 years. Without proper
architecture in the design and construction of an airplane, the chance of it
flying without crashing is severely compromised. This is the role of
aeronautical designers and engineers, who use architecture for airplane design
and construction. We would never consider flying in a plane that had not been
correctly designed, tested and built.
now the use of computers in business, which have a short history of only 40
years from their first use in the early 1960s until the present time. But in
contrast to building or airplane construction, architecture has not been used in
the building of information systems in enterprises. Because Enterprise
Information Architecture (EIA) has not been used for effective planning and
design of computer databases and applications, many problems arise as follows:
and database design for computer applications and databases may not be
adequate, and so they may fail. This failure can be in terms of quality that
may lead to complete collapse of the applications. This is a common problem
application and database design approach may in fact be adequate, but the
method of development may take longer and so cost more than it should. This
also is common.
application and database development approach may be correct, but the
finished systems and databases may not meet the specific needs of the owner
and/or end users and so can represent wasted effort and cost. This is one of
the greatest problems with application and database development today.
Information Architect will specify standard components for application
development, so that pre-built program components can be used to reduce time
and cost of application development dramatically. This is based on the use
of Object-Oriented (O-O) application development, drawn from O-O analysis
and design methods.
above problems correspond to those discussed for building architecture, but have
been avoided there – due to the accepted use of building architecture. The
lack of Enterprise Information Architecture (EIA) for information system
development, in contrast, is one reason why these problems are endemic. The use
of Enterprise Information Architecture minimizes the impact of these information
system development problems in enterprises.
consider the way that enterprises are formed and grow. Ideally, the
establishment of every enterprise should be based on well–defined business
plans. Business plans should reflect the Strategic Plans defined by management.
These plans are analogous to an architect’s plans for the business.
Strategic Business Plan defines the Mission, Vision and Value statements of an
enterprise. Based on the industry and market focus defined by management, Policy
statements are developed for the enterprise. These policies are qualitative
guidelines defining boundaries of responsibility for business units or
functional areas of the enterprise.
Policies established by management for each business unit or functional area,
Goals and Objectives are defined. While policies are qualitative, Goals and
Objectives must be quantitative and measurable. Goals are typically long-term,
while objectives are short-term. Some enterprises may reverse these – with
objectives long-term and goals short-term – but the effect is the same: they
must be quantitative and measurable.
quantitative measures are defined, alternative strategies can be evaluated.
While a goal or an objective indicates “what” is to be achieved, a strategy
indicates “how” that achievement will be realized.
Strategies therefore depend on goals and objectives. Strategies may have
many steps involved in their execution: called Tactics.
a strategy or tactic is defined to achieve a goal or objective, its
implementation will need to be managed. This is achieved by Key Performance
Indicators (KPIs) defined for each strategy or tactic. A KPI is an objective
that is typically defined for implementation of specific strategies or tactics,
in support of the achievement of goals or objectives by business units or
functional areas. KPIs measure the performance of the managers of those business
units or functional areas, whose responsibility is the effective implementation
of the relevant strategies or tactics.
define a strategy or tactic – to focus on HOW something is to be
done before knowing WHAT is to be achieved – is the ultimate
futility in strategic planning. It certainly generates work, but it rarely
generates results. For if no measures have been defined for achievement, then no
results can be assessed against those measures.
to be quantitative and measurable, all goals and objectives must exhibit three
characteristics: measure, level and time. A goal or objective
statement must clearly indicate “what” is to be achieved (measure),
by “how much” (level) and “when” (time).
example, a hypothetical statement that says: “orders will be
delivered promptly by courier” defines HOW orders are to be
delivered, not what is to be achieved. It is therefore a strategy, not a goal or
objective. On the other hand, the statement: “orders will be shipped to the
customer, to arrive within 48 hours of placing the order” indicates WHAT
is to be achieved. It has the three
characteristics of an objective. The “measure” is defined as
the “shipping delivery of an order”, the “time”
is defined as “within 48 hours of placing the order”, and the
statement implies a “level” that “100% of orders will
achieve the 48 hour delivery time”.
managers accept that Strategic Business Planning is their responsibility. The
development of the strategic plan in many enterprises is carried out by a
Corporate Planning Department, that reports directly to senior management.
Effective strategic plans typically emerge in this situation. Unfortunately
though, for most enterprises the strategic plans are mainly statements of
strategy. They are not measurable, and so are unable to be managed precisely.
Only when measurable goals and objectives are clearly defined as quantitative
measures can management exercise effective management control.
managers are the architects of the enterprise.
Strategic Business Planning is the approach used for Enterprise Architecture
(EA). Government, Commercial and Defense enterprises use strategic planning to
ensure that the enterprise follows firm management directions. The Mission,
Vision, Values, Policies, Goals, Objectives, Strategies, Tactics and KPIs should
be statements that provide clear direction to all managers within the
strategic planning is not applied effectively, management cannot be certain of
the results that will be achieved by the enterprise. The enterprise then becomes
very difficult to manage; few measures are available for management to assess
performance achievement. The following problems typically arise in such
the strategic business plans are not well–defined or are non-existent, the
enterprise has no clear direction. If not corrected in time, this failure
can lead to the complete collapse or failure of the enterprise.
the strategic business plans are well–defined, but not used effectively to
manage all parts of the enterprise and at all levels, required business
changes in the enterprise may take longer and so cost more than they should.
In the rapid business change climate of today, such delays can be serious.
At best they may lead to lost opportunities; but at worst they can lead to
the failure of the enterprise.
the strategic business plans are well–defined, but no longer meet the
specific needs of the enterprise, then the business may be moving in
directions that are no longer appropriate. This can represent wasted effort
and cost … and once again, lost opportunities.
strategic plans, with an understanding by management of Enterprise
Architecture and its integration with Enterprise Information Architecture (EIA),
can enable standard business procedures and integrated databases to be
defined throughout the enterprise. This can lead to enormous cost savings through dramatic
improvements in business efficiency. For example, common procedures as well
as integrated databases lead to common training of staff, easy staff
reallocation due to common skills used in the business, and elimination of
redundant processing otherwise needed to maintain redundant databases
current and up-to-date.
again, the above problems correspond to those discussed for building
architecture, but were avoided there due to the accepted use of building
architecture. The lack of Strategic Business Planning and the absence of
Enterprise Architecture (EA) that is applied by senior management, in contrast,
is one reason why many enterprises operate at less than optimum efficiency …
or may even fail. The use of Strategic Business Planning and Enterprise
Architecture minimizes the impact of these problems in enterprises. We can learn
much from building architecture and apply similar principles to Enterprise
will continue Part 2 of this article in the next issue of TEN, as a special
issue due in 4 weeks. In Part 2 will discuss the importance of Architecture for
Enterprises, and then cover the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture
from a senior management perspective.
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