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Milking the value out of your enterprise architecture

One of the big complaints that you find with business executives, and even IT executives, with regard to enterprise architecture and strategic planning organizations is that it takes a long time to get to value. There is a definite perception that these types of organizations and their associated methodologies and tools take a really long time to develop. Consequently, they take a very long time to get to value. I don’t believe that it has to be that way.

It may take a long time to develop the maturity to churn out a daily return on investment, which is the promise of so many enterprise architecture organizations or strategic planning groups, but it doesn’t have to take a long time to get to value. You just have to be a little bit more tactical about how you approach the types of information you’re going to bring into the organization and the type of decisions that you’re going to support. You’ll also have to spend a little time doing some explicit planning around delivering value throughout the maturation process. That way you’re not only delivering value at the end of the process when you’ve pulled together all the threads of the enterprises.

A great example of this is the accelerator program that we run on top of, Troux. One of the things that it enables you to do is take a fixed period of time like 60, 90 or 120 days and really focus in on specific decisions that the organization wants to support. It enables you to find the information to support those decisions and pull together a representation of that information that facilitates decision making. I think that not only is this of obvious value to the organization because it helps support those decisions but it’s of value to the strategic planning or enterprise architecture organization. It helps show that there is a return on your effort for these types of organizations and that you can get value early in the process. I think this is a huge step towards getting buy in from executives in the business. That in turn is the type of thing that enables you to sustain a program so that you can get to that more mature state where you’re delivering daily value, on the basis of informing lots of small business decisions every day.

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