Posted by: Adam Deane | 06/06/2011

EA: To infinity and beyond!

Buzz LightyearWoody: Will somebody please explain what’s going on?

Buzz Lightyear: It’s all right, Space Ranger. It’s a code 546.

Woody: What’s a code 546?

Buzz: The organisation is in danger.
Only the Enterprise Architect can save it!

Woody: What are you talking about!?

Buzz: Right now, poised at the edge of the galaxy, Emperor Zurg has been secretly building a weapon with the destructive capacity to annihilate an entire planet!
He will do this by destroying the alignment of IT strategy and planning with company’s business goals, thus destroying the organisation’s strategy, processes, information, and information technology assets

Rex the Green Dinosaur: AHHH! Should we be hysterical?

Buzz: Hold on, this is no time to be hysterical!

Hamm the Piggy Bank: I think this is the perfect time to be hysterical.


Buzz: I am Buzz Lightyear; I am the Enterprise Architect. The fate of the organisation rests upon my shoulders.

Rex: [shaking Buzz’s hand] Oh, I’m so glad you’re not a dinosaur!

Buzz: We are the organisation’s heroes, saving the company from destruction.

Woody: AN ENTERPRISE ARCHITECT IS NO HERO!!! He is not even seen as an important figure in the organisation.

Buzz: Don’t talk to me about importance! The future of this entire universe is in jeopardy!

Woody: [pauses and looks incredulous] YOU! ARE! A! TOYYYYY! A nice to have. You have no clout in the organisation.
[holds hand up]

Woody: You don’t drive sales or additional revenue. You are not a leader or manage people. You are not responsible for the business processes, or any real system. You are just an IT admin!

Rex the Green Dinosaur: But he knows how to articulate a compelling value proposition for architecture in general.

Woody: But this doesn’t give the organisation any value because no one listens to his proposals!

Buzz: All this is going to change. I am Buzz Lightyear; I am the new generation of Enterprise Architects. No longer IT oriented. I’m business oriented. I come in peace.

Woody: How are you going to make a difference?

Buzz: I will create business growth instead of trying to find ways to save money. I will generate revenue. I will speed up business cycles. I will make myself indispensable to the organisation.

Woody: This isn’t going to work.

Buzz: The role of EA is going to change. EA is going to change.
I am Buzz Lightyear; I am the new generation of Enterprise Architects.
To infinity and beyond!


  1. Cool stuff, Adam. I just love the Toy Story characters and I absolutely agree. Enterprise Architecture is in most organizations a paper pushing job that has little influence on what actually happens in IT and hardly any what happens in business. Which is why I don’t propose an all-out EA as a prerequisite for a BPM effort. Just as I was against an all-out effort for BPM or SOA projects without the direct business benefit. It just increases the bureaucracy already connected with BPM.

    When I propose Business Architecture as a prerequisite for Adaptive Processes, it does not have to be an all-out effort. One can do BA for a single process. it does make sense to have an overall Value Stream (newspeak for end-to-end process) and Capability Map to understand the linkage points between processes, but even that is optional.

    The reason to do a BA is to define the business language ontology (terminology) needed to define processes. That must include definitions of executive objectives, management (financial – KPI) targets, process (owner) goals, performer skills (knowledge), and customer outcomes. Further it requires the definition of all process ressources such as business data, content, and rules. It can include some flowcharts for orchestrations but ideally no flowcharts for people interactions. All of the above can be done for any size of process effort and it must be defined into the process model and linked to the actual processes.

    Suddenly, it is no longer a paper and bureaucracy pushing effort, but it creates real-world transparency for everyone – including the customer.

  2. Adam,

    Interesting post. I just sent out a tweet to CMO’s and marketing professionals (part of the business) to see if there are some responses. I believe that EA folks, if this will really change, need to start talking to CMO’s and other marketing professionals. I wonder if these type of business people will want to listen to EA’s? Thanks for the post!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: