Methodologies and Technologies for Rapid Enterprise Architecture Delivery


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Issue No 23:

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PERTH, AUSTRALIA – August 25, 2003: This issue is not technical. Earlier issues of TEN have separately addressed concepts of Enterprise Architecture and also of XML and Web Services for Enterprise Integration. This quarter’s issue bridges these topics; it discusses use of Enterprise Architecture for Business Integration with various technologies for Technology Integration.

NOTE: This issue is a non-technical extract from Chapter 1 of my next book, titled: “Enterprise Architecture for Enterprise Integration: Methods and Technologies for Business Integration and Technology Integration”. This forthcoming book is due for electronic publication in early 2004, with hard-copy publication expected later in 2004. See Note to Publishers below.

Clive Finkelstein
TEN - The Enterprise Newsletter

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We are at a dramatic and historical point of convergence: in technology and in business. The Internet and associated technologies today enable the customers, suppliers and business partners of an enterprise all to work together at electronic speeds. These technologies are transforming organizations. Processes that took days or weeks to complete previously by using mail, fax and courier communication ... now take hours, minutes, and sometimes even seconds. This is the direct consequence of Technology.

Technology alone is not the answer. To achieve any degree of success in Enterprise Integration requires that Technology Integration be used within a coherent, integrated enterprise, through Business Integration. But we still have a long way to go in most enterprises to realize Business Integration.

To appreciate what still has to be achieved, we need to review what I call the “Process Engineering Bible”. I describe the book in this way as it has had a dramatic effect in the way that organizations function. To consider its impact, we need to review its message. But first:

  • What is its title?
  • Who was the author?
  • When was it published?

Perhaps we can identify the book by first considering its author – with References in [brackets]:

  • Was it Michael Hammer or James Champy of Reengineering the Corporation [1] fame? No, it was neither of them.
  • Was it Ken Orr [2], Ed Yourdon [3] or Tom de Marco [4]: of Software Engineering fame? No, it was not them either.
  • Well, was it Peter Drucker of Management [5] and Strategic Planning [6] fame? No, not him.
  • Was it Edwards Demming of Quality Control fame? No, not him either.
  • Was it Alfred Sloan, or Henry Ford? No, the book I am referring to was published long before all of these eminent people.

So which book am I talking about? As soon as I give you the author and its title – with its publication date – its significance will become apparent. The reference is as follows:

  • Adam Smith, “Wealth of Nations”, (1776) [7]

This was one of the most influential books at the start of the Industrial Age. It described the evolution from the Agricultural Age to the Industrial Age. It was the foundation for most industrial enterprises in the late 18th Century and into the 19th Century.

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To understand the importance of Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations”, we will review part of the first chapter. Box 1 provides an extract from Chapter 1 of Book One. Its language is unusual today. I have included part of the initial paragraphs; to help readability I have added comments in brackets to indicate the terminology that we use today to describe the same concepts.


“Of the Causes of Improvement In the Productive Powers Of Labour, and of the Order According to which its Produce is Naturally Distributed Among the Different Ranks of the People.”

CHAPTER 1: “Of the Division of Labour”

“... To take an example, therefore, from a very trifling manufacture; but one in which the division of labour has been very often taken notice of, the trade of the pin-maker … a workman … could scarce … make one pin in a day, and certainly could not make twenty. (In today’s terminology he is referring to: serial operation.)

But in the way in which this business is now carried on, not only the whole work is a peculiar trade, but it is divided into a number of branches, of which the greater part are likewise peculiar trades. (In today’s terminology this refers to: object-oriented methods.)

One man draws out the wire, another straights it, a third cuts it, a fourth points it, a fifth grinds it at the top for receiving the head; to make the head requires two or three distinct operations (object-oriented encapsulation); to put it on is a peculiar business, to whiten the pins is another; it is even a trade by itself to put them into the paper; and the important business of making a pin is … divided into about eighteen distinct operations ... (object-oriented methods)

I have seen a small manufactory of this kind where ten men only were employed … they could, when they exerted themselves, make among them about twelve pounds of pins in a day … upwards of forty-eight thousand pins in a day. Each person, therefore … might be considered as making four thousand eight hundred pins in a day. (object-oriented reusability)

But if they had all wrought separately and independently… they certainly could not each of them have made twenty, perhaps not one pin in a day (serial operation) … ; that is, certainly, not … the four thousand eight hundredth part of what they are at present capable of performing, in consequence of a proper division and combination of their different operations. (object-oriented reusability) ...”

The principles that Adam Smith advocated broke complex processes into simpler process steps. He showed by using technologies available in his day – an illiterate workforce – that people could be trained to carry out each step repetitively. In this way they were able to achieve much higher levels of productivity that if one worker carried out each step in turn. Smith showed that component steps could also be combined in different ways for new, improved processes. These are the same concepts that we still use today for Reusability, using Object-Oriented methods.

Adam Smith’s breakthrough was the foundation for late 18th Century – early 19th Century Industrial Enterprises. With the focus mainly on manufacturing physical items, this period also saw the same concepts applied to knowledge-based processes for Bank Loans and for Insurance Policy Applications. Instead of manufacturing steps, a Loan Application or a Policy Application approval process was broken down into discrete steps to be carried out by different people: each skilled in assessing an aspect of the relevant application. Each process step was carried out in a defined sequence: the step was completed before the next step in sequence was started. The result was the definition of serial processes.

As the Application Form was routed to each person in the Approval Process, details of the relevant applicant and the current status of the process were recorded in hand-written ledgers; these were called the Applicant Ledger, or the Customer Ledger. Each person involved in carrying out a process step kept an individual record of every Applicant or Customer that worker had processed, and the stage the Applicant had reached in the Approval Process.

The 20th Century saw an improvement in these process steps with introduction by Henry Ford of the Assembly Line method of automobile manufacture. The vehicle being built physically moved along each section of the assembly line, where different components were added in each step of the assembly process.

This period also saw the introduction of parallel processes: two or more processes could be carried out concurrently, with each process step executed independently of other process steps. An example is the parallel construction of the body of the automobile, while the engine is also constructed. Each parallel process path is thus independent of the other parallel paths, until they need to converge. Only when the automobile has to be driven off the assembly line does the engine have to be fitted into the car.

By the middle of the 20th Century, the Industrial Enterprise had evolved into a complex series of manual processes. The pace of progress had seen most enterprises evolve to use increasingly complex business processes, with rapidly growing transaction volumes to be manually processed. And what was the result?

  • These enterprises found they were operating in a continual state of Manual Chaos!

Then the computer came on the scene in the second half of the 20th Century.

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Starting from the late 1950s – through the 60s, 70s, and right up to today – we have seen manual processes being automated by computer. What was the result? The processes were automated, but we took the existing manual processes and then automated them essentially AS-IS: without much change. That is, the automated processes were being executed as for the manual processes, but faster, and more accurately.

  • In so doing, we moved from Manual Chaos … instead to Automated Chaos!

Enterprises tried to hide this automated chaos. Through to the mid-90s, most enterprises could confine their automated chaos in the back office. Instead they presented a calm, in-control, front-office appearance to the outside world. They tried to emulate the graceful swan, gliding effortlessly across the surface of a glass-like lake with no apparent effort. The furious paddling activity – trying to keep up – was hidden below the surface.

But with rapid acceptance of the Internet in the second half of the 90s the chaos moved from the back office … onto the front doorstep of enterprises: through their web sites.

  • Customers could visit these enterprises by the click of a mouse. But they could just as quickly leave with the click of a mouse if they did not find what they needed!

The reason they left is not because of what the automated processes could do; rather, they left because the processes did not provide what the customers needed.

This was because redundant processes and redundant data, by their definition, are non-integrated. Another term for non-integration is Disintegration. That is, by automation most enterprises had evolved from non-integrated manual processes to disintegrated automated processes.

The problem is much worse than this! Most automated processes today assume that the technologies of the past still apply. The manual processes that they automate required paper-based forms that were mailed, or later faxed. So their automated counterparts are based on forms that are also printed to be mailed or faxed. On receipt at their destination, the data in these forms are manually reentered into relevant systems: with manual work; with extra staffing to do that reentry; with delays; with errors; and with associated costs.

In earlier issues of TEN we saw that Business Forms printed by computer can be automatically converted into electronic forms using the Extensible Markup Language (XML), then transmitted electronically to receiving applications within an enterprise, or between enterprises. This is Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). It replaces mail transmission and manual reentry, paper-based systems that were designed for completion over weeks or days. These are replaced instead with electronic systems that can inter-communicate within minutes or seconds – anywhere in the world. We also discussed the concepts of Web Services in past issues of TEN.

The problem is that automated systems that assume inter-communication with printed forms and manual reentry over weeks and days do not work well when asked to inter-communicate with electronic forms that bypass the need for manual reentry – and that complete in minutes, or seconds. What is the basic reason for this dichotomy?

  • Today we have 21st Century Enterprises that utilize 21st Century Technologies … yet most enterprises today still use 18th Century Disintegrated Business Processes!

The business processes – originally designed based on principles set by Adam Smith in 1776 – have not evolved to take advantage of the technologies we have available today. This is a Business problem; not a Technology problem. It requires business decisions. It requires business expertise. These are the basic ingredients for Business Integration.

 Past issues of TEN discussed how Business Integration is realized by Enterprise Architecture.  But the architects of an enterprise cannot be found in its IT Department. This leads us to three important principles:

  1. Enterprise Architects are the senior managers who set the directions for the future, based on processes designed for that future and its technologies. For the future cannot be based on 18th Century business processes that no longer respond to the rapid-change environment of today … and even greater change tomorrow.  
  2. The future will be based on business processes that use the technologies of today and tomorrow to complete in minutes and seconds what previously took days and weeks … with strategic directions set by senior management, and with business experts and IT experts working together in a design partnership.
  3. Based on Strategic Business Plans defined by senior management for the future, business experts and IT staff then use Enterprise Engineering methods for rapid delivery of Enterprise Architecture to identify priority business areas that can be implemented and delivered rapidly into production using the technologies discussed in past issues of TEN.

Using Enterprise Architecture and Enterprise Engineering, together business experts – working with IT experts – define integrated databases and identify reusable business activities, reusable business processes for Business Integration. These take advantage of the latest technologies for Technology Integration: XML; Enterprise Application Integration (EAI); Enterprise Portals; and Web Services. And what is the result?

  • Integrated 21st Century Enterprises with Integrated 21st Century Processes!

Enterprise Architecture and Enterprise Engineering achieve Business Integration in the enterprise for more effective Technology Integration. These methods and technologies are addressed in the forthcoming book: “Enterprise Architecture for Enterprise Integration: Methods and Technologies for Business Integration and Technology Integration”.

  • The book “Enterprise Architecture for Enterprise Integration: Methods and Technologies for Business Integration and Technology Integration” by Clive Finkelstein is expected to be published electronically in early 2004, with hard-copy publication later in 2004.

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  1. Michael Hammer and James Champy, “Reengineering the Corporation”, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, London: UK (1993).
  2. Ken Orr, “Structured Systems Development”, Yourdon Press, New York: NY (1977).
  3. Ed Yourdon and Larry Constantine, “Structured Design: Fundamentals of a Discipline of Computer Program Systems Design”, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs: NJ (1978).
  4. Tom De Marco, “Software Systems Development”, Yourdon Press, New York: NY (1982)
  5. Peter Drucker, “Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices”, Harper & Row, New York: NY (1974).
  6. Peter Drucker, “Management: Challenges for the 21st Century”, HarperCollins, New York: NY (1999).
  7. Adam Smith, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth Of Nations”, (1776). Often called just “Wealth of Nations”. :

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Clive Finkelstein is the "Father" of Information Engineering (IE), developed by him from 1976. He is an International Consultant and Instructor, and was the Managing Director of Information Engineering Services Pty Ltd (IES) in Australia. 

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