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Sunday, January 22, 2006


The Discipline of Enterprise Architecture

James McGovern's recent musings about methodologies and responsibilities regarding EA led me to much thought about the topic. Since I also function at times as a project manager, my thinking is tempered along the lines of discipline, and not necessarily any particular methodology or body of knowledge.

I agree that most methodologies are sold by consulting/analyst firms, academics, and book authors as the Holy Grail that will cure most, if not all ills in an IT organization. That, simply put, is largely sales and marketing fluff. Then again, the main product these folks sell isn't services and software, its hope. And hope is not a strategy.

The architecture community is having a hard time in a number of areas due to the following:

Remember the old saw that knowledge and skills are essentially useless unless they can be successfully applied and shared with others? Enterprise architecture isn't any different, in fact, it demands it even more than other lines of work because we can't build or refactor everything we specify by ourselves.

Enterprise architecture already has a wide body of knowledge, but it's very disorganized due to lack of agreement on definition, and with that shortcoming, a lack of discipline to practice it to the benefit of all. I think that we'll collectively get there eventually, but it will be a long march.

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