Enterprise Architecting & Organizational Design
Enterprise Architecting involves issues that are greater than just IT in scope. At a high level, many of the issues faced in designing an Enterprise Architecture center on decision making and problem solving. What this means is that an Enterprise Architecture exists to facilitate the mission of an organization by giving stakeholders the tools they need to solve problems in their everyday tasks. There are three factors that enable problem solving in an enterprise:
- Information: Data used for informed decision making
- Knowledge/Expertise: Knowing what to do with data
- Stakeholder Missions: The objectives of stakeholders
One way that an Enterprise Architecture aids stakeholders in their tasks is through the sharing of information and expertise. This involves the cross-domain sharing of information and expertise. Hence the overarching question regarding Enterprise Architecture becomes: How does an organization enable information/knowledge sharing in order to meet their mission objectives?
At each layer in an organization, performance is measured by using a set of metrics. By mapping these metrics to operational resources (information and knowledge/expertise), it becomes possible to view misalignments between the organizational goals and operational constraints. Particular attention must be paid to how operational constraints impact the execution of tasks in the organization. Misalignments among operational requirements may lead to organizational failure.
One must consider technological, organizational, and process/policy factors that impact the implementation of an enterprise architecture. Technology focuses on the specification of technical requirements in the design of IT applications, interfaces, and protocols. The organizational layer comprises artifacts, such as culture and social networks, in order to examine how stakeholders tend to exchange information and knowledge/expertise. The process/policy layer involves understanding how decision mechanisms, rules of engagement, and incentivization may affect information/knowledge sharing across the enterprise.
When these factors are placed side by side a series of question regarding the design of an Enterprise Architecture become evident. For instance, comparing the strategic and technological layers, results in the question: what acquisition strategies are appropriate for procuring major IT systems and architectures? At the opposite end of the spectrum, comparing the technological and tactical layers result in a question that focuses on how IT technologies and applications can enable the completion of agent tasks. A summary of layer-by-layer comparisons is listed in the following matrix.
SYNEXXUS ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTING METHODOLOGY (SEAM)
|Technological||What major system can support enterprise objectives?||What technologies facilitate information and knowledge sharing across programs?||What technologies enable team members to complete tasks?|
|Organizational||How to engineer organizational networks to promote information/knowledge sharing?||How to construct a culture of information/knowledge sharing?||How to facilitate inter-group identity to facilitate information/knowledge construction, collection, and distribution?|
|Process||How to construct program-program interaction mechanisms to facilitate information/knowledge sharing?||How to construct group-group interaction mechanisms to facilitate information/knowledge sharing?||How to construct peer-peer interaction mechanisms to facilitate information/knowledge sharing?|
SEAM serves as a guide to providing effective, executable, and defensible enterprise architecting decisions. This approach addresses many critical questions
- Identify key misalignments in the existing Enterprise Architecture
- Assess the major issues/impediments that give rise to these misalignments
- Develop solutions to address gaps, caused by misalignments, in the enterprise design
- Create options and metrics to assure enterprise value delivery of information and knowledge/expertise
SEAM can be systematically applied to any organization, firm, or financial entity. Past work includes major projects FBI; as well as, several small scale projects for OSD and SOCOM.