Am I in right place?

I was so excited when I completed my TOGAF training. I was eagerly waiting for a project where I can use my knowledge and practice what I learned.

As expected I was associated with a project. Luckily it was the one I was expecting. Super excited.

What is it? It’s an enterprise project.

Do we have an architecture vision? Statement of work? Architecture repository? Baseline Architecture? How target architecture looks like?

Do we have a governing body? Change management?

Lots of questions?

Vision was scattered, statement of work?? Baseline architecture? What is it?

Unfortunately, none of the above were neither available nor done properly.

I started to think how can we turn this into a successful project? Realized, that neither analysis nor planning was properly done.

Am I in right place??

Though this was a fail, project has taught me many good things on how not to handle an enterprise. In this project I am tying to capture my observations and will try to highlight what went wrong.

Preliminary Phase: In this Phase, Architecture context need to be understood and identify scope and impacted organisations/systems. Also, establish frameworks, methods and processes that are required and used across organisations or systems. 

Architecture context was never understood 100% instead focus was only on one LOB. Neither Scope nor Organisations/Systems impacted were considered. No proper framework or processes were identified.

Phase A: In this phase an aspirational vision of Enterprise capabilities and business value to be defined for a Target Architecture. Prepare statement of  Architecture and secure an approval.

There was a high level vision of moving away from existing systems to new system. Agreement on proposed vision was not secured.  

Phase B: In this Phase, a target Business architecture will be developed to address business goals and drivers and to come up with a road map for the components based on gaps between Baseline and Target Architectures. This is the phase where stakeholder concerns were understood and a high level request for architecture is prepared.

Business processes were not identified/simplified for the architectural change. Business was not prepared for this change. No communication was set. No gaps were identified. Business were never taken into confidence for the proposed upcoming changes.

Phase C: This phase is to understand how information flows across all business process or organisations, to identify GAPs between Baseline and Target architectures and address them.

Data flow across impacted systems was not done. There was no target architecture document created to help with scope. This left with lots of gaps. Because of the GAPS, lot of change requests were identified and implemented in which some are just for data migration.

Phase D: Understand technological shift within Enterprise, develop Target architecture. Identify gaps between Baseline and Target architectures, identify components. 

Target technologies were identified however as Baseline and Target business architecture were never identified, every stage of this phase was focused on understanding business processes, baseline and target architectures identify how Target technologies can be used to address business goals.

Phase E: Opportunities and  Solutions phase is to finalize the Architecture roadmap based on the Gap Analysis from phases B,C and D. identify an approach to transition from Baseline to Target Architecture.

Programs were identified for different LOB’s and POC’s were created. GAP analysis was done and all missing components were identified. However, these missing components were never addressed. Instead working LOB was made as baseline copy and other programs were lined up for Transition. 

Phase F: Finalize Transition Architecture. Develop Implementation and Migration plan and is coordinated with Enterprise approach. Ensure stakeholders understood business value, cost of work package and transition architectures.

No transition Architecture defined. Approach for implementation was not based on architecture scope instead it was created and implemented based on each business process and Target technology features.

No work packages were created nor cost of implementation was identified ahead of time. Instead the project was left to execute by itself. Which resulted in a disaster.

Phase G: Ensure conformance with the Target Architecture by implementation projects and perform appropriate Architecture Governance functions for the solution and any implementation-driven architecture Change Requests.

Architectural Governance  was not formed. No Risk log was maintained or considered. Issues were identified but implemented based on cost instead of Business goals. Module/Business process level governance was maintained. It focused on prioritizing implementations based on cost.

Phase H: Ensure Architecture Governance is executed and Architecture capability meets requirements.

As stated earlier, LOB and business process level  governance were maintained and Enterprise Architecture scope was ignored. Validating capability against Target Architecture was rarely done.

Requirements Phase: Ensure that the Requirements Management process is sustained across all phases of ADM. Validate and verify requirements before and after each phase.

Approach was to identify Enterprise level requirements where as focus was only on program level requirements resulted in unidentified GAPs across each phase.

In conclude, investing in Enterprise Architecture is a costly affair for small businesses. However, understanding and tailoring Architectural processes as per the business requirements can lead too greener pastures.