Saturday, December 31, 2016

Recent Q&A on EA: What's the biggest challenge in creating an agile enterprise architecture?

My response to a recent query on Quora:


What's the biggest challenge in creating an agile enterprise architecture?

Mohan Babu K
Mohan Babu K, Enterprise Architect for a global 1000 company.

Let us start with a couple of definitions:
“Agile generally relates to method of project management, used especially for software development, that is characterized by the division of tasks into short phases of work and frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans: Contrasted with waterfall.” Oxford Dictionaries
“Enterprise architecture (EA) is a discipline for proactively and holistically leading enterprise responses to disruptive forces by identifying and analyzing the execution of change toward desired business vision and outcomes. EA delivers value by presenting business and IT leaders with signature-ready recommendations for adjusting policies and projects to achieve target business outcomes that capitalize on relevant business disruptions.” Gartner IT Glossary
Can EA be realized in an agile manner? Yes. Back to the original question “challenge in creating an agile enterprise architecture? It is not very clear, but I will assume the question pertains to “go about,” which one can do:
  • By using agile techniques to realizing some of the key aspects of EA.
  • By taking a consulting-focused approach to deliver on promises.
It should be noted that realizing Enterprise Architecture, or realizing outcome of an enterprise strategy may not always be done in an Agile manner.