The Criticality of Transformational Leadership to Advancing United States Government Enterprise Architecture Adoption

The Criticality of Transformational Leadership to Advancing United States Government Enterprise Architecture Adoption

William S. Boddie (National Defense University, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-068-4.ch006
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Abstract

An effective enterprise architecture (EA) capability enables an organization to develop sound enterprise plans, make informed human, materiel, and technology resource investment and management decisions, and optimize key business processes. Despite U.S. Congressional legislation, U.S. Office of Management and Budget guidance, and U.S. Government Accountability Office reports and recommendations, many U.S. government leaders struggle in advancing EA adoption in their organizations. U.S. Government leaders must embrace transformational leadership to advance EA adoption. The author presents the Vision, Integrity, Communication, Inspiration, and Empowerment Transformational Leadership Model that describes competencies U.S. Government leaders need to advance EA adoption. The author also presents the Transformational Leadership and Enterprise Management Integration Framework that describes the relationship between transformational leadership and enterprise management functions. U.S. Government leaders must adopt this framework to realize improved enterprise performance.
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Introduction

Many U.S. government organizations struggle in implementing effective enterprise architecture (EA) capabilities. Despite Congressional legislation, U.S. Office of Management and Budget guidance, and U.S. Government Accountability Office recommendations, many U.S. government leaders struggle in advancing EA adoption in their organizations. The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) (2001) concluded that an EA is critical to modernizing enterprise business processes, information technology (IT), and improving enterprise performance effectiveness. The GAO (2004) found EA was critical to improving organizational performance in the private and public sectors. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (2006) stated “Architecture is a management practice to maximize the contribution of an agency’s resources to achieve its mission. Architecture can establish a clear line of sight from investments to measurable performance improvements whether for the entire enterprise or a portion (or segment) of the enterprise” (p. 1 – 2).

An EA describes an organization’s current capabilities and constraints, the organization’s desired capabilities, and the organization’s plans to transition from the current to the desired capabilities. Enterprise architectures provide “to people at all organizational levels an explicit, common, and meaningful structural frame of reference that allows an understanding of (1) what the enterprise does; (2) when, where, how, and why it does it; and (3) what it uses to do it” (GAO, 2003, p. i). An effective EA enables organizations to develop sound enterprise plans, make informed human, material, and technology resource investment and management decisions, and optimize key enterprise business processes. “Enterprise architectures are essential for organizations to effectively and efficiently develop new and evolve existing information systems” (GAO, 2000, p. 4). The GAO also found, “If defined properly, enterprise architectures can assist in optimizing the interdependencies and interrelationships among organizations’ business operations and the underlying information technology supporting these operations” (GAO, 2000, p. 4). An effective EA capability can enable government organizations to realize improved performance.

Advancing an effective EA capability requires organizational leaders to adopt an enterprise perspective rather than focusing exclusively on sub-enterprise activities. The GAO (2004) “repeatedly identified the lack of an enterprise architecture as a key management weakness in major modernization programs at a number of federal agencies” (p. 1). Many government organizational leaders struggle to embrace an enterprise perspective and consequently miss significant opportunities to improve their organization’s performance. Additionally, many government leaders lack the necessary leadership competencies to advance EA adoption. Kotter (1995) reported, “A paralyzed senior management often comes from having too many managers and not enough leaders” (p. 60). Kotter found “Change, by definition, requires a new system, which in turn, always requires leadership” (p. 60). Government organizations need strong leaders to advance EA adoption. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (2006) stated, “The key to these [U.S. government] departments and agencies building upon their current status, and ultimately realizing the benefits that they cited architectures providing, is sustained executive leadership, as virtually all the challenges that they reported can be addressed by such leadership” (p. 1). Transformational leadership is critical to government leaders advancing EA adoption and improving their organization’s performance.

The objectives of this chapter are to review U.S. government efforts to advance EA capabilities, define the current EA state in U.S. government organizations, emphasize the criticality of transformational leadership to advancing government-wide EA adoption, situate the relationships between transformational leadership and enterprise management functions, and highlight the outcomes the U.S. Department of Labor realized from its adoption of transformational leadership, EA, and enterprise management.

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