Posted by: Adam Deane | 24/11/2011

EA: Beep Beep

EA RoadrunnerBoy, What did I get myself into…

One of my latest company initiatives was to try and build a bridge between two camps : BPM and EA
(The way to hell is paved with good intentions…)

My first mistake was naivety. I walked into the EA domain expecting everyone to shout “the messiah has arrived”.
That didn’t happen. It seems the EA domain has been getting along quite nicely without me or my BPM initiatives.
After getting a piano dropped on my head, I returned to the drawing board.

My next mistake was innocence. For some strange reason I expected people to jump and down with excitement about BPM.
But just because I’m excited about BPM, it doesn’t mean others will be also.
After getting a piano dropped on my head, I returned to the drawing board.

My next mistake was inexperience.
EA is not high level BPM, not BPA, not IT planning, not IT strategy…
The terminology is a bit different, the way they approach problems is different.
Trying to learn EAish while you’re running around – doesn’t work. You need to sit down and learn the basics before jumping in.
After getting a piano dropped on my head, I returned to the drawing board

Now if I understand correctly, Enterprise Architects are required to cover 5 areas:

  • Frameworks, Viewpoints , Security, Deliverables
  • Roadmapping
  • Impact Analysis
  • Gap Analysis
  • Risk and Compliance

EAs are bombarded with “Deliver Business Value” messaging.
It’s a nice mantra, but how do you turn it into actions, and how can BPM help?

The frameworks and roadmapping are a bit too high level for BPM to be able to assist, but the last three areas: Impact analysis, gap analysis and risk management are good places for BPM to help with.

So those are the three solutions that I’ve been working on lately.
I’ve sent my mail-order to Acme Corporation… I’ll catch that road runner in the end.
As usual, gravity is my greatest enemy. Beep Beep.


Responses

  1. Adam, great observations. How true .. the way to hell is paved with good intentions. But many people are at their worst when the force their good intentions onto others, putting them onto that road to hell too.

    EA or Enterprise Architecture is about getting a handle on old-style IT, which was about 99.97% availability, frozen code and cost cutting. BPM is about command and control, perfect processes, and cost cutting. They seem to go together well but the strange thing is that they now seem to need each other to get something done. It is like merging two bancrupt businesses and hoping that alone will make them healthy.

    Both EA and BPM are like cartoon characters and as long the animator is fond of them they are speeding about our IT-screens. But both aren’t real life. In real life things aren’t about perfection and cost cutting. It is about people doing things they like to people they like. In real life people don’t get up when a piano crashes on their head and they go on to do it again. In real life people (if they are lucky) break their spine and learn something.

    EA and BPM are like coyote and roadrunner cartoon characters. The pity is that they aren’t fun to watch. The real problem is that there are those who tell us we should do like them … don’t worry, you can see that they get up again after that piano fell on them.

  2. I bloged about the synergy between EA and BPM some time ago – http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/2010/01/linkedin-towards-applied-enterprise.html

    Thanks,
    AS


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