Enterprise Architecture and Portfolio Management

Ok – so maybe you haven’t heard the buzz about the marriage between EA and Portfolio Management. It’s been going on long enough to get the seven year itch already – so why should I go on about that today?

My head hurts – I’ve been knee deep in the weeds building course ware for about three months and I’ve come up for air. It’s probably the first thing I thought of because I was digging up some articles for a participant in a workshop that was in need of more info on the topic. Or maybe it was because I was drawing diagrams all night and when I was done I couldn’t remember if the diagram was going into an article for a Project Management piece on Portfolio Management or an Enterprise Architecture.

To make a long story short – they are the same Portfolio Management.

Different constituencies might care for different reasons, but at the end of the day, the same portfolio should be planned. Granted – if the Enterprise Architect gets their way – there will be the project completed that gives him or her the best new models to add to their collection – isn’t that what everyone thinks we do? Or is it picking the standards that everyone has to follow????

Actually – it will fill a gap from the charts on the analysis task of the most recent EA program review. And – it will match up to the latest and greatest business initiatives sadly lacking archtitecture. What difference does it make? The EA’s and PM’s need to work together, and other than a few squabbles about scope – aren’t they fighting the same battles? To get sorely needed projects done with precious few budget dollars?

Another thought on the subject – the project manager and the program or portfolio manager are fighting different battles. The project manager wants to get the project done as directed, with as little risk and variance on budget as possible, with the best use of resources as possible.

The EA wants to get the right things done, and usually budget is the last thing on their list, other than the fact that they don’t want their EA program shut down. So – we’ll all have to get along here. We want to do the right things, ones in the best proportion to keeping the business running, getting the optimal amount of growth in the organization, and transforming that organization to meet strategic needs of the executives and planners.

At the final outcome, both parties will be happy if they solved a business requirement, met an organizational objective and ok, created a few models along the way. Is that so bad?

Happy Architecting,

This article has 2 Comments

  1. “The project manager w………..best use of resources as possible.” this is so correct. I’d one other thing to it, “To accomplish the project’s goals the PM will attempt to minimize outside interferance, including the medlings of EA”

    In my opinion, most EA groups do not understand that they work at the Portfolio and not the projet level.

  2. I hope that your comment regarding “medlings of EA”, refers to an over-zealous EA, one who was caring about the EA. Unfortunately my experience has shown that PM’s often do not fully understand the difference between EA and SA and that might be a misunderstanding on roles, responsibilities and terminology here.

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