lunes, 1 de septiembre de 2014

While Enterprise Architecture is dead, TOGAF is alive, according to Forbes

Following on "Enterprise Architecture: Don't Be a Fool with a Tool"   and  "Is Enterprise Architecture Completely Broken?" published on Forbes, we may ask ourselves, what does TOGAF deliver if practitioners report that EA is broken while TOGAFers state that EA is alive and prospering? Whatever it is, it may not be EA then.

In fact, in my TOGAF course, I have not even been given the EA definition.

See also previous post for part i.

According to Viswanathan, "there’s a revolution taking place, particularly among the Indian System Integrators (SIs)... Everyone is trying to jump on the TOGAF bandwagon.” 

Revolution is not, let' s reserve the word for things that matter, but true, many board the TOGAF train. 

The paradox is that, while EA delivers "paltry" results, TOGAF training, certification and consulting services accelerate. "Weird" as Jason noted. Perhaps because there is profit in teaching it while there is less in employing it.

Still, TOGAF has trampled the competition.

TOGAF fails, according to Brown and Viswanathan, only because:

"TOGAF initiatives are still bound to fail when the people involved apply it improperly... take it too literally..., when people assume you have to do all of TOGAF from end to end" and... because "there is also clearly a shortage of deep TOGAF expertise on the market" as Viswanathan states. 

And  "...they’re not adapting it for their organization, or they’re not getting people who’ve ‘been there, done that, got the T-shirt, have the scratch marks’ to help with the initiative" as Brown explains.

Perhaps then, since most acquire TOGAF from training, this reasoning indicates a systematic failure of TOGAF and associated training and consultancy in conveying to architects how to "adapt" and use it, rather than  a failure of the practitioners alone, that are ultimately blamed in the above.

Still, most, including consultancies, failed to deliver EA using TOGAF given its overall poor results.

Consultancies have though the typical excuse: they guide you but you are ultimately responsible for the results. And trainers don't usually do EA, have never done one, they train.

Taking into account the results, it also looks like there are plenty of "people who've been there and done that" in TOGAF but... with equal lack of success, never mind that training and certification.

It is rather surprising to state that there is a "shortage of deep TOGAF expertise". After all, there has been plenty of training and certification done so far. What is the certification good for then? It surely does not guarantee the EA delivery. How do ypu recognize these deep TOGAF experts?

TOGAF is not a cookbook but it should be. After all, that is what people expect from an EA framework. Put your parts in, in some established format and proportions, and have the result at the other end, edible.

That's what we do and expect when we cook from a cookbook. We are not expected to chose and play with the ingredients and quantities, because we would not be inventing then our own recipe and experimental dish.

TOGAF should be as predictable as a recipe and consumable as its outcome. But is is neither.

Still, TOGAF, as a collection of practices alone does not guarantee the EA result, indeed. We may use it as an aid, choose bits or dispense with it altogether to go for the original sources for such "tools" as requirements or risk management, but solely if we need them.

“"Without EA, companies muddle through, where business managers have to ask for information for decision making all the time,” explains Viswanathan".

The most important deliverable of EA is components in interconnections, that is diagrams linked in a the big picture, rather than information on isolated components. For information alone, there already are systems support and inventory tools in the enterprise.

"Without a framework, how do you connect corporate strategy to projects downstream?" Viswanathan says.

EA, rather than determining the projects, helps one scope the strategic transformation projects to the enterprise components and dependencies they impact.

That is, in case EA is more than IT, which TOGAF is not.

There are a few natural steps, well known and always the same, rather than three "approaches" as Viswanathan explains, in achieving EA.

Do the current architecture, establish target state according to business vision, strategy and architecture criteria, and assess gaps and execute themas a transformation program.

But nonetheless, this simple cycle from As-Is to To-Be does not even appear explicitly in the TOGAF ADM.

Least but not last, is there such a best practice in Open Group to have a formal "speaker" nominated to communicate on behalf of TOGAF, a representative that can sanction, or not, such a view as "TOGAF is not a cookbook"...  so that it cannot be ignored, discarded or denied later?

PS: I still can't post my comments on this last Forbes post.

EA matters

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