A Systemic View on Enterprise Architecture Management: State-of-the-Art and Outline of a Building Block-Based Approach to Design Organization-Specific Enterprise Architecture Management Functions

A Systemic View on Enterprise Architecture Management: State-of-the-Art and Outline of a Building Block-Based Approach to Design Organization-Specific Enterprise Architecture Management Functions

Sabine Buckl (Technische Universität München, Germany) and Christian M. Schweda (Technische Universität München, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4518-9.ch007
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Abstract

Multiple approaches for Enterprise Architecture (EA) management are discussed in literature, many of them differing regarding the understanding of the EA as well as of the performed management activities. Applying a cybernetic point of view, the differences between these approaches can be mitigated, a more embracing perspective can be established, and fields for future research that lack support in current EA management approaches can be identified. In this work, the authors apply the Viable System Model (VSM) as reference for elaborating an overarching conceptualization of the EA management function. In comparison to the VSM reference, they discover that system five of the VSM—the identity system—is underrepresented in prevalent EA management approaches. Using a building block-based approach that makes reuse of existing best practices for EA management, the authors outline a development method that addresses the challenge of identity of an EA management function by enabling an organization-specific design thereof. The development method can be used to govern the EA management function by providing means and techniques to configure and adapt, that is, to design and to re-design an EA management function tailored to the specific situation of an organization.
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2. A Vsm Perspective On Eam

EA management itself is concerned with the management of the EA, i.e. the documentation, analysis, and transformation planning pertaining to the architecture of the enterprise. We apply the generic understanding of architecture, as presented in Ernst (2008), to the entire enterprise on an abstract level in order to derive the following definition of EA:

The enterprise architecture is the fundamental organization of an enterprise, embodied in its components ranging from business to IT infrastructure, their relationships to each other, and to the environment. The enterprise architecture exists at any point in time and is planned as well as changed via projects in the boundaries given by principles. The change heads towards a target state, outlined by goals, which are measured via metrics.

Different enterprise-level management functions, e.g. project portfolio management, or demand management, transform the organization of an enterprise, more precisely relevant parts thereof. These transforming management functions can be identified with system oneoperation—of the VSM. This system contains the primary activities of the system under consideration, which directly interact with the environment. The enterprise-level management functions form the systems that change the EA via projects, which have been initiated in the demand management, aligned in the strategies and goals management, selected in the project portfolio management, scheduled in the synchronization management, and realized with standards from the IT architecture management. A description of the function of EA management therefore must consider the role of related enterprise-level management functions.

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