People-Led Enterprise Architecture

People-Led Enterprise Architecture

Neil Fairhead (Fujitsu Services, UK) and John Good (Serco Consulting, UK)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-068-4.ch013
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This chapter provides an approach to Enterprise Architecture that is people-led, as a contrast to being led by technology or modelling methodology. It identifies the major stakeholders in Enterprise Architecture and suggests where in the organisation they may be found and how they may be connected with the Enterprise Architecture. It highlights the roles of stakeholders throughout the process of defining and implementing an Enterprise Architecture. The view of stakeholders managing the EA effort is described through the complete lifecycle, from setting the EA mission to sustaining the benefits after implementation. In proposing the adoption of such an approach, we aim to encourage a more direct link between Enterprise Architecture, the needs of the stakeholders it serves, and the pubic policy outcomes it enables.
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Over recent years there has been an increasing focus in Government and the wider public sector on technology and transformation. For example, the UK Government published ‘Transformational Government – Enabled by Technology’ (Cabinet Office, 2005) as a key strategy for the reform of public service provision and managing the relationship between citizens, organisations and Government. However, while technology does enable transformation, it does not cause it. People have to decide what transformation is needed and why. They have to think through all the steps which lead from current situation to desired state – and build the plans to implement those steps.

People have to communicate to everybody impacted by the proposed change that the change is necessary, that it is possible and that it will happen – again and again. In short, People have to lead the change – if they want other people to follow it.

Figure 1.


However, there are still many government organisations where enterprise architecture is led by a choice of method or framework, or a desire to model the enterprise, before an understanding of the problem, from the problem owner’s perspective, is obtained. Coupled with a typically long distance from the determination of public policy and the delivery of public services to the chief architect (if one even exists), enterprise architecture has a long way to go to realise its potential in the public sector.

This chapter, based on our experience of doing enterprise architecture in the public sector, describes how enterprise architects can deliver an approach in which people lead, and technology enables, real business transformation. We propose a “both/and” world not an “either/or” one. Both people and technology are necessary but the sequence is important. There are still far too many large change programmes which come close to failure because the people affected were not involved early enough and so are not committed. It is not the technology that successfully delivers transformation, it is people using the technology. Beginning enterprise architecture with this simple recognition and ensuring that people are at the centre of the architecture – the big picture of change – is a strong first step towards successful transformation.

This approach, and therefore this chapter, is as much about choices and values as it is about specific techniques. Enterprise architecture is about change. Change is driven by a need to improve the business outcomes. The current outcomes are not satisfactory or are not sustainable. Stakeholders in these outcomes, i.e. people, have to choose what needs to change in order to achieve the improved outcomes. The changes are implemented though changes to the enterprise assets which are the subject of the enterprise architecture. Hence the key link between the target outcomes and the enterprise architecture is the stakeholder. Enterprise architecture must therefore be people-led and people-focused to make a lasting and positive impact.

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