Enterprise Architecture IS (should not be) Arbitrary
By Pat Shepherd on Mar 30, 2010
I took a look at a blog entry today by Jordan Braunstein where he comments on another blog entry titled “Yes, “Enterprise Architecture is Relative BUT it is not Arbitrary.” The blog makes some good points such as the following:
Lock 10 architects in 10 separate rooms; provide them all an identical copy of the same business, technical, process, and system requirements; have them design an architecture under the same rules and perspectives; and I guarantee your result will be 10 different architectures of varying degrees.
Agreed, …to a degree….but less so if all 10 truly followed one of the widely accepted EA frameworks.
My thinking is that EA frameworks all focus on getting the business goals/vision locked down first as the primary drivers for decisions made lower down the architecture stack. Many people I talk to, know about frameworks such as TOGAF, FEA, etc. but seldom apply the tenants to the architecture at hand. We all seem to want to get right into the Visio diagrams and boxes and arrows and connecting protocols and implementation details and lions and tigers and bears (Oh, my!) too early.
If done properly the Business, Application and Information architectures are nailed down BEFORE any technological direction (SOA or otherwise) is set. Those 3 layers and Governance (people and processes), IMHO, are layers that should not vary much as they have everything to do with understanding the business -- from which technological conclusions can later be drawn.
I really like what he went on to say later in the post about the fact that architecture attempts to remove the amount of variance between the 10 different architect’s work. That is the real heart of what EA is about; REMOVING THE ARBRITRARITY.