This web site is a development site of the Light Enterprise Architecture in search of what is Enterprise Architecture and how to make it practical. Instead of the traditional web publish effort, the author develop the Light EA approach continuously in this EA play ground since 2004. After a decade of try and error, it is taking shape.
What the light about?
Light EA is lite architecture approach by:
- It is light for the architects by taking three tier approach for lite implementation instead of a big bang approach.
- It is light to analyze holistic architecture from the three perceptions rather than a one size fit all approach.
- It is light for the stakeholders by adapting architecture drawings to enable lite comprehension instead of heavy volumes of documents and complicate computer models.
The Light EA Framework
The lite EA approach is presented in the Light EA Framework (LEAF) which illustrate that LEA is a three tier approach with three architecture discipline as shown in the following figure.
The Three goals of EA Enterprise Architecture consist of three architecture disciplines rather than all about the aligning technology to business in the vertical direction. Enterprise Architects are trained in :
- Alignment Architecture (Vertical) : EA in a vertical architecture effort to align technologies with business need.
- Agility Architecture (Horizontal) : EA is a horizontal architecture effort for networking, SOA and cloud computing. reuse, consolidation. Horizontal and cross cut architecture may be new to the stovepipe oriented application engineering, it has been a common practice in network engineering. The concept of Reference Model in EA comes from the OSI model in network engineering.
- Adaptive Architecture (Circular) : EA adopt to change iteratively in circular architecture direction. It adopt change via analyzing change, risk management, strategic plan. capital investment, change management, project management and configuration management. These efforts are considered as the integral part of enterprise architecture.
Practice EA in three tiers . Instead of a big bang approach to design the enterprise blueprint in a command and control approach which requires significant investment of effort of time and resources. the 3×3 matrix suggest that EA is a three tier approach.
- Notional EA EA does not requires significant resources to begin with. The initial EA is notional and tangible to visualize the enterprise with Enterprise Map and align business and technologies via the Notional Architecture at the high level.
- Practical EA is the EA on demand to close the business performance gap via segment architecture approach continuously in adapting to change.
- Daily EA : EA is a daily business, this not saying the Enterprise Architect design EA every day. For EA to be practical, the enterprise architects served as the “Glue” not the “Guru”. As the “Glue”, the enterprise architect enable every one from managers to engineers to see the big picture, enable their agility in adopting to change via reuse, and sharing. They are not the “Guru” to design the enterprise blue print inside the ivory tower in a command and control mode.
Deliver tangible EA for light comprehension
LEA adapt the traditional1 architecture drawing which have served as the most efficient architecture information container to communicate with stake holders as shown in the following picture.
EA is an emerging paradigm, the key is "Enterprise" rather than "Architecture", however, most of Enterprise Architecture methods such as EAP, FEA, TOGAF, DODAF have focused on the "Architecture" with minimum emphasis of "Enterprise" . As a result, EA has become nothing new but large scale solution architecture . LEA have developed the Enterprise Map to visualize the invisible Enterprise as show in the following figure. Enterprise map serve the following value.
- To visualize the stealth Enterprise Architecture.
- Enable common people to see the whole.
- The whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.
- Enterprise map is a tool for Orientation,
- Enterprise Map as a mnemonic device
- See the whole to facilitate enterprise collaboration culture
EA IS A HOLITSIC ARCHITECTURE METHOD
Enterprise Architecture can be simply defined as a holistic architecture approach in contrast to the stovepipe architecture as showing in the following figure.
It was initiated to overcome the challenge of redundant effort in stovepipe culture. Form the context of Enterprise Architecture, "Enterprise" means to see the whole, "Architecture" is the orderly arrangement of parts. It is a methodology rather than the blueprint of an enterprise. In addition to overcome the challenge of stovepipe, the holistic architecture approach also enable the readers to see the whole and know the parts which integrate the power of left/right brain. The holistic architecture approach is not all about Information technology. It can be used to overcome the challenge of redundant effort in every aspect of business.
Zachman framework represent the holistic approach, consider a system holistically from the attributes of why, what, how, who, where and when and from the role of planner, owner, designer and contractor. This framework relatively holistic compare to the stovepipe architecture approach but it is mechanical holistic rather the organically holistic. In stovepipe architecture approach, the IT community have focused on business process and develop automation only from a specific view.
LEA IS NOT ALL ABOUT INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES
LEA as a holistic architecture method is not all about information technology. The challenge of redundant effort in stovepipe approach is not unique in IT, it is umbiquous in every system.
- Knowledge Sharing
LEA proposes an EA model to architect the enterprise as shown in the following figure. The pyramid alignment model, follows the suit [not sure what you mean here - suit is not the right word] of the original EA model, and is more appropriate to architect the Enterprise.
- an organization has to know who are its potential customers, their needs and the demand they could generate (first layer);
- the services it offers to its potential customers, managed in a service catalog to allow customers to understand the offerings from the enterprise (second layer);
- the enterprise business capabilities required to deliver the service offerings; this should be represented in a model which clearly distinguishes business capability and business activities. Enterprise Architects define the enterprise based on business capabilities instead of business activities (third layer).
- the business activities as the means to support customer needs, service offerings and business capabilities. Business operations consist of activity modeling, function analysis and business processes (fourth layer).
- the enterprise resources of human, finance and technology to support the enterprise operation. This model shows that IT EA is only a part of the enterprise rather than the whole enterprise. There are also human resources EA and financial EA (fifth layer).
THE CONTENT OF LEA
This website address the following sections
- What is EA?
- Tangible EA for comprehension.
- Analyze from three perceptions
- Practice EA in three tiers.
- Architect the enterprise culture.
- Architect the enterprise.
As shown in the following figure.
SECTION SIX : Architect the Enterprise Collaborative culture