This is the fifth in a six-part blog post that address one of the most important topics facing Enterprise Architects; namely how to justify the value of Enterprise Architecture (EA).
In the fourth blog in this series, we explored how to use a value tree model, using the metamodels of TOGAF and Value Management to explain the value of a new investment. In this blog, we will examine how to use a similar technique to model EA Value.
Van Steenbergen and Brinkkemper (2008) used this same concept effectively using an “Architecture Effectiveness Model”, mapping the deliverables of an enterprise architecture practice, to the business goals of an organisation. Three examples are presented where organisations have defined such a value model(Ref. 1).
Figure 1 below shows such a model showing on the left the enterprise architecture practice, and on the right the business goal of the organisation. Organisational performance steps or “changes” in between link the two. The model can be used effectively by Enterprise Architects to show the intended contribution of architecture to the business goals by way of a number of intermediate steps.
Figure 1 – General structure of an Architecture Effectiveness Model (Van Steenbergen and Brinkkemper 2008)
In the three examples presented where they applied the model, although no direct relationship between architectural results and business goal effects was observed, all showed architecture results linked to business goals via organizational performance effects.
Using the benefits of Enterprise Architecture discussed in Part 2 of this blog earlier, we can draw a strawman Architecture Effectiveness Model that can be used by Enterprise Architects when deciding what value to measure and what value to observe for their particular organisation. This is shown in Figure 2 below.
Figure 2 – Strawman Architecture Effectiveness Model
Van Steenbergen and Brinkkemper (2008) noted in their study that by adding Process Performance Indicators (PPIs) to the effects, the actual contribution of an architecture practice over time could be measured. (Ref. 1). Stutz (2010) provides an example, as shown in Figure 3 below for a Swiss banking solutions provider where a similar model has been constructed including derived measures and metrics for enterprise architecture traceability. (Ref. 2).
Figure 3 – Case study – application of Process Performance Indicators for EA processes
Using the same technique, we can add example Process Performance Indicators to the strawman model from Figure 2. This is shown below in Figure 4. These can be used to target and track areas of performance improvement, and to provide evidence for the value that EA is providing.
Figure 4 – Strawman Architecture Effectiveness Model (including Process Performance Indicators)
- Van Steenbergen and Brinkkemper (2008) Modelling the contribution of enterprise architecture practice to the achievement of business goals. Proceedings of the 17th international conference on Information Systems Development (2008)
- Stutz (2010) -How to Measure the Value of Enterprise Architectures – Deutschsprachige SAP-Anwendergruppe (DSAG). Zurich