Enterprise Architecture Strategy – Do I Need A Strategy to Get One?

It’s nearing end of summer and slowly, folks are getting back from vacation or they are out shopping for school supplies.  Maybe a last minute golf game with friends, or perhaps colleagues.  A day at the beach if weather permits.  As we see the first signs of the leaves turn color, we turn to that busy planning month of September.

We all get back from the lazy (lazier?) days of summer, and think about how we can get back to changing the world.  If we were lucky, we’ve made progress in our Enterprise Architecture Programs – or perhaps not so lucky, but were the beneficiaries of good planning – to keep the program moving forward.

Most companies take a fresh look come September – and feel it’s their new school year.  And with that comes planning.  And hand in hand with the plan is our strategy.   The Enterprise Architecture team and program need to create a strategy early in its life.  We need to develop both a sponsorship and sales plan.  We need to analyze our organization and determine whether or it’s metrixed.

If so, you have a strong culture of process discipline.  Evaluate the organizational maturity by figuring out how well the entity will tolerate change and watching the development of a grand strategy unfold.

As mentioned previously, it is critical to identify the stakeholders.  If possible, you view the enterprise, and determine where the market is for EA.  In doing so, you need to know where the locus of power resides, who is respected, who is ignored and who has the political capital that is required to drive such a large initiative.

Your strategy flows forth from the analysis of your stakeholders.   Create a matrix yourself as part of your strategy analysis exercise.  For each stakeholder, know which product they would be interested in, or benefit from.  List what value they would gain and what your competitor positioning would be.  Identify who might also offer the same “products” to your stakeholders.  Know their strengths, as well as their weaknesses.

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