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What Enterprise Architecture and HR have in common

The goal of Enterprise Architecture is to build coherent enterprises, not better IT systems. The IT is simple flavor du jour, a tool that enables and facilitates the process. Yet a one single component of the enterprise architecture is consistently overlooked - the people.

The standard EA framework will talk about Business Architecture, Information Architecture, Application Architecture and Technology Architecture - but never about People Architecture! yet people are the most crucial component that needs to be addressed through hiring filters, policies and procedures, training and education of the employees and contractors.... In short - it had just occurred to me that every EA initiative should be coordinated with HR in order for Enterprise Architecture initiative to be successful.


Metaphorical modeling

I am a big proponent of modeling - data modeling, business process modeling, system modeling… Reducing complex systems and behaviors to the most important attributes for a given context facilitates better understanding, and helps to architect better solutions. Metaphor follows the same pattern - while not a full blown model, it highlights but a few features, magnifying them, and stripping of unnecessary details; by providing analogies in a different context it helps to break patterns of conventional thinking - often resulting in an innovative solution.

It had occurred to me that IT/Business uneasy symbiosis could be represented as a two-sided mirror erected at the border between the respective domains - IT and Business. Each looks at the other side convinced that “this is how they look!”… but each sees only reflection of its own.

NB: This is a variation of a proverbial “hammer and nail” metaphor: IT is looking for IT solutions for business problems (shelfware?), while Business is busy inventing business solution for IT woes (outsourcing, anyone?)

The domain of an Enterprise Architect (not to be confused with Enterprise IT Architect) spans entire enterprise, including both IT and Business; to offer a solution, an EA must have dual citizenship in both worlds.