Part of architecture work (probably one of the more important parts) is publishing your work to enable each and every worker in the enterprise to read and understand your work. From my perspective there are two main points that needed to be addressed seriously when publishing your work outcomes.
1. Audience: enterprise architecture work cover the four enterprise viewpoints (business, information, systems and technology) and therefore your audience, in the simple scenario, are four different type of users. Each user is interesting in one level of detail in part of your work and in completely different level of details, if at all, in other parts of your work. Therefore, if we’ll published all the work as one pack that all the users will have access to, no one will look more then once at our web page.
The first thing that I’m doing is to understand who are the users of my publishing work and to create a micro-site for each one of them. Each one of those micro-sites are the entry point for different role that will supply all the data that he needs and interesting in, with the ability to navigate to other information from any other domain (if the user want to).
The following figure is taken form an engagement that I was involved in. you can see that we draw the main pages that will be the entry points for each role in the enterprise and we mentioned all the available enterprise architecture definitions and links between them that the user can follow.
2. How it’s going to look like: The site that holds your EA outcomes is like your face! Do what ever you can to keep it appealing and interesting. Here are some rules that I’m following:
a. Use visual elements as much as you can: people tend to understand models more then long lists of definitions. It’s better to show your application on a model that also depict the relations between application, rather then long list of applications. It doesn’t say that you don’t need a list of application, I just suggest that you won’t start the user experience with a list.
b. Keep it simple : there should be a balance between the amount of data displayed and the ability of the user to digest what he is watching. If your application integration model is a mass, look for a way to simplify the model or worst case maybe a list is better in this scenario.
c. Keep the linkage between architecture building blocks in different domains. Although different roles interesting in different information that you collect and analyze, they are also need to navigate to other architecture building block to get holistic view. Choose a tool ( or add your own code) to enable navigation from one building block to another using simple mouse click.
d. If you’re using a EA tool customize the homepage. Make sure that the home page shows all the roles that might use your site and navigate each role to their dedicate home page.