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Last Updated Date Jul 02, 2021 |

Enterprise Architecture (EA) planning and organization is the process of defining the use of information in support of the business and resourcing the practice for implementation and delivery. In a top-down approach, EA approaches the business process and operational needs, and develops the IT or applications plan to better align the business with IT through functional planning.

 

Planning and organizing EA is critical to a company’s performance by:

  • Defining a strategic target state that aligns technology to the overall business objective
  • Creating a roadmap that identifies the gaps
  • Recommending a sequencing plan to bridge the gaps over a long-term time horizon and cost structure

 

Major Areas of influence of Enterprise Architecture

Major Area's of Influence

EA enables business delivery and architecture and encompasses oversight of major operational, organizational, technology, applications, data, and information decisions. While an IT discipline, EA is the glue that ties the business goals to the technical capabilities necessary to realize business objectives.

 

Business Architecture

BA supports transformation program planning and business strategy development by providing target business architectures and an associated roadmap of new and enhanced business capabilities to enable the execution of those business strategies. This includes creating various business reference models, using these reference models for baseline assessment, conducting opportunity assessments for improving business performance, and creating integrated target architecture models to show future market positioning, product offering capabilities, enterprise structures, proposed business partner relationships, resource requirements, and placing these capabilities on a migration strategy to align with desired delivery timelines. These target models are used by business planning functions to structure, organize, and govern related business transformation programs.

Operational Architecture

OA supports program planning and operational strategy development by providing target operational architectures and an associated roadmap of new and enhanced operational capabilities to enable new business models and improve operational effectiveness. This includes creating service function and information reference models; using these reference models for baseline assessment; conducting opportunity assessments for improving operations; creating integrated target architecture models to show future operational process requirements, organizational structures with accountabilities, and resource requirements; and placing these capabilities on a migration strategy to align with related business and systems programs. These target models are used by operational planning and delivery functions to structure, organize, and govern related operational transformation programs.

Application Architecture

AA supports program planning and systems strategy development by providing target system architectures and an associated roadmap of new and enhanced system capabilities to enable new operational capabilities and simplify/improve existing architectures. This includes creating systems reference models, using these reference models for baseline assessment, conducting opportunity assessments for reducing diversification and upgrading system capabilities, creating integrated target architecture models to show future application systems, data stores, and information exchange solutions, and placing these capabilities on a migration strategy to align with related operational and technology programs. These target models are used by systems planning functions to structure, organize, and govern related systems programs.

Information / Data Architecture

IA is responsible for creating the overall strategy for managing information with a view to contributing to the achievement of business goals and objectives through enabling operational efficiencies with effective information management solutions.  It provides strategic guidance to operational, systems and technology planning to address information management opportunities. It also creates and maintains policies related to information management, security, and privacy in accordance with current and planned operational, system and technology requirements that underpin data products, facilitating discoverability and accessibility and minimizing data redundancy and fragmentation.

 

 

 

Technology Architecture

TA describes the IT infrastructure required to support the development, deployment and support of applications, IT services, hardware, middleware, networks, platforms, etc.

Enterprise Architecture

High Level Enterprise Architecture Framework

Enterprise Architecture Framework

Architecture Review Board

Purpose

 

The Architecture Review Board (ARB) serves as a governance body ensuring IT initiatives align with Ecosystem Architecture and ultimately align with business goals, strategies, and objectives. The ARB’s purpose is to improve the quality of an organization’s operations.

 

  • The Architecture Review Board (ARB) defines appropriate IT strategies to support Business and Operational needs and ensures development alignment with those strategies.
  • The ARB is responsible for defining technical design standards, policies, and principles for IT overall.
  • The ARB is also responsible for all technical aspects of the IT portfolio such as providing guidance and approving project architecture (conducting technical feasibility studies), providing technical recommendations on architecture, and on design (e.g., best practice reviews).

 

Goals

 

The goals of the Architecture Review Board (ARB) include the following:

 

  • Improve the quality of products and services the business offers
  • Plan, design, and implement an efficient, effective, and comprehensive architecture for Infrastructure and Applications
  • Establish an architecture baseline and develop and maintain a target architecture
  • Establish and promote architecture best practices
  • Create architecture roadmaps that align with business and operational roadmaps
  • Lead the architecture review process
  • Identify new technologies and retire redundant and outdated technologies
  • Support an “Agile Mindset”

 

Roles and Responsibilities

 

The key roles and responsibilities of the Architecture Review Board (ARB) include the following:

Domain

Role/Responsibility

Decision Making

 

  • Establish architecture roadmaps
  • Establish architectural and design principles and best practices
  • Evaluate solution designs per best practices; if design is rejected provide recommendations for improvement
  • Solicit and consider input from other governing bodies during decision-making process
  • Document rationale for decision in meeting minutes or other documentation
  • Provide input to decisions made by other governing bodies
  • Identify and manage technical debt

 

Escalation
  • Escalate decisions beyond their authority to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT)
  • Recommend a course of action and provide supporting analyses (when a decision is escalated to another body)
  • Obtain business acceptance of responsibility for Technical Debt
Communication
  • Communicate decisions to SLT and other key stakeholders in accordance with the communications plan
  • Keep SLT informed of major IS&T architecture decisions
  • Guide development teams in aligning with architecture decisions

Ongoing Activities

 

  • Represent EA during project ideation process
  • Create architecture strategy and roadmap
  • Define architecture principles and best practices
  • Conduct technical feasibility studies (e.g., review investment proposals)
  • Facilitate collaboration across areas to exploit IT synergies, avoid duplication and ensure development adheres to architecture decisions.
  • Identify innovation in IT that can help the business (e.g., new technologies)
  • Manage technical debt to require that applications be brought into alignment with the overall desired architecture as quickly as possible

 

Ad-Hoc Activities

  • Create temporary teams to address specific tasks

 

Architecture Review Process (End-to-End)

Architecture Review Process

Sample Membership

 

The composition of the ARB primarily includes technical resources from IT who reside in the Ecosystem Architecture team as well as Business and Operational representatives from the Line of Business (LoB) Units. However, ARB will leverage subject matter experts as needed.

The membership of the ARB consists of the individuals identified below.

Function

Name

Team

Role/Level

Chair  

Platform & Systems Integration

Director / Lead Architect

Co-Chairs

 

Enabling Team

VP IT, VPs LoB

Member  

Business/Operational SME

LoB
Member  

Platform Engagement

Community representative and Data Impacts

Member  

IT Ecosystem Architecture

Information Systems and Middleware

Member  

IT Ecosystem Architecture

Web Application Architecture

Member  

Project & Portfolio Management

Admin Systems

Member  

IT Ecosystem Architecture

Learning Management Systems

Member  

Corporate Information Group

 Business Delivery

 

 

Sample Meeting Frequency and Agenda

 

The ARB shall meet every two weeks. During critical time periods, the meeting frequency may be increased to meet program needs. Communications, guidance, and information such as meeting schedules, agendas, and minutes will be made available by the Chair or the Chair’s appointee.

 

The following high-level agenda outlines a potential framework for the structure of the meeting. Note that each agenda item may not necessarily be a topic at every meeting.

  • Define IT Architecture best practices
  • Evaluate potential and in-progress solution design(s)
  • Update architectural and design standards
  • Review action items
  • Open discussion

 

Charter

Accountabilities

  • Establish architecture roadmaps
  • Establish architectural and design principles and best practices
  • Evaluate solution designs per best practices; if a design is rejected provide recommendations for improvement
  • Solicit and consider input from other governing bodies during decision making process
  • Document rationale for decision in meeting minutes or other documentation
  • Provide input to decisions made by other governing bodies

Composition

  • Project Teams for Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inputs

  • Business & IT Strategies
  • Project proposals
  • New technology developments in the marketplace
  • Project Start Architectures
  • Supplier ideas / requirements
  • Learning / Experiences / Insights from other clients / Industries
  • High Level Impact Analyses

 

Outputs

  • Business Capability Roadmap
  • Organizational change roadmap
  • Technology Architecture Vision and Roadmap
  • Architectural approval of project proposals
  • Architecture policies and best practices
  • Technology opportunities
  • Recommendations to the Enterprise Review Board

 

Mandate

  • The Architecture Review Board (ARB) serves as a governance body ensuring IT initiatives align with Ecosystem Architecture and ultimately align with Business and IT goals, strategies, and objectives. The ARB serves Improve the quality of IT products

Escalation Point for:

  • Project Board(s)
  • Escalation to Senior Leadership Team

 

 

 

Frequency

Every 2 weeks / Quarterly (Architecture & Innovation)

 

 

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