Enterprise architecture (EA) – does it help?

I have been asked to put together some information on how the Home Office would benefit from enterprise architecture. This is far removed from social media, but communicating it need not be! To help me I am just bashing down some thoughts here – any input from any of you wise ones out there would be welcomed.

If you do not know what EA is there is a very good description on Wikipedia. Essentially, it is a root and branch review of all business processes, practice and strategy of an organisation, with a planned way forward that addresses weaknesses highlighted. Most people associate it with IT, this is essentially because it was ‘invented when IT people started thinking out of the box’ (thanks Paul Clarke) – and certainly the IT infrastructure forms a vital part of the review, and enables successful change (as a part of the building up stage of EA).

I think any organisation would benefit from putting itself under the microscope like this, whether to streamline work processes, save money, be more efficient – or simply check that you are doing what you said you would be doing when you started out; and government is no exception (even though departments do like to navel gaze at regular intervals).

In theory, EA should:

  • reduce business risk
  • boost staff morale
  • develop a more democratic working environment
  • end silo working
  • create core reference point for decision-making
  • ultimately save money

However, in order to do this it must:

  • have the buy-in of all management levels
  • be positioned at the heart of the organisation and not just directions from SCS/Board
  • be properly communicated with stakeholders and members of staff
  • have a simple consultation method that enables democratic conversation
  • be recognised as a technology enabled change programme and treated as such

Thoughts welcomed

4 responses

  1. Some of the clever ones escaped from their box in the late 90s. Some interbred with designers and communicators (led to horrible progeny); others became New Age gurus and wore lots of beads. One or two developed their own range of organic beauty products and got heavily into massage. The worst of all traded Simpsons ties for Simpsons suits, burst into the boardroom and started spouting something called Enterprise Architecture…

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