For Who The Heck is Enterprise Architecture Not?

Thinker Practitioner

While thinking of ideas discussed in this blog, have been probing the tenants that creates the fundamental characteristics of the system such as :-

  • Division Of Labor – the most important idea that revolutionized industrialization and for rise of capitalism
  • Commodiitization vs Specialization
  • Production of cost by Economy Of Scale by Division vs Multiplexing (manual vs automation)
  • Holistic vs Reductionist
  • Organic vs Inorganic (natural dichotomy)
  • Autonomy (increased self sufficiency) vs Corporate Sovereignty
  • Natural Selection leading into Adaptive vs Self Regulation leading into Generative
  • Centralization vs Polycentrism; and Federation
  • Simplicity vs Complicated (not to be confused with Complex System)

The above premise must be used as background in probing the discipline EA – which is essentially a System Theory being an integrative of several disciplines such as sociology, economics, business management, information technology etc

Defeating Cognitive Bias and Instant Gratification


Basically have been battling within my head why this discipline Enterprise Architecture went so whacky in the corridors of corporates. I think all the below discussed stuff are symptoms. The core reasons I think is basically in the deviant behavior that corporate culture tends to promote driven by short term gains. Lets call this deviant theory (Corporate) Anomie a concept developed by Emile Durkheim, a French sociologist, who introduced this concept of Anomie in his book The Division of Labor in Society, published in 1893. Later expanded in the book Suicide published in 1897. Emile Durkheim is considered as the “father of sociology”.

1. Not for those Not solving Systemic Concerns



Enterprise Architecture (EA) as a discipline is engaged to solve problems within systemic context. Where the (a) challenge of realizing business strategy by enabling relevant business capabilities (b) delivered by set of tactical objectives (operational) achieved by (c) making informed and decisive investments in technologies. When such systemic concerns are not being addressed, then EA is overkill. EA while it strives to solve macro concerns it does so by aligning well designed several sets of micro objectives.

2. Not for those who lack appreciation for Order and Maturity 

Generally, EA as a discipline is better desired when an enterprise strives to scale order of maturity to manage complexity by rational means. To develop organizational skills, a decisive competencies framework is desired.




3. Not for those who cannot deal with Abstraction


EA is not for those who have not trained their mind to think in abstraction. Especially those who find themselves comfortable in dealing with physicality and forms will require head wrenching exercise to hone mind to develop abilities to deal with varieties of abstractions, while representing them with varying semantics that help in  delineation, thus leading into layered representation in terms of a framework.

“Separation of Concerns” is one such technique that achieve delineation by introduction of semantics and eventually it also helps in the design of EA Framework.



EA is not for those, who in abstraction find it difficult to delineate contextual from conceptual; and conceptual from logical and logical from physical.

4. Not for Reductionist; instead suited for Holistic Thinkers



EA is not for those who are only reductionists in approach and who think everything in the world can be reduced to simple set of objects or objectives. EA is not necessarily Cartesian and certainly not for linear thinkers. EA is not about immediately discovering implementation; in fact it is delayed gratification by introducing decisive rationalizing process before subjective strategy turn into executable objective actions yielding the best business results by leverage.

5. Not for those who pursue Transformation without Goals

Although EA might help manage both organic and inorganic growth of an organization; by itself it is a disciple dealing with inconsistencies owing to structure and mechanism found within and their impact on transformation augmenting enterprise growth


6. Not for those who pursue merely Functional Goals and NOT be concerned with Ecosystem’s Harmony 


EA is not a mere IT role, especially a difficult role for those who have worked only in the areas of IT infra and in delivering such services. EA is not limited only to physical layer.

EA is not for those who find it difficult to distinguish business strategy from business architecture; business architecture from application architecture; application architecture from technology (infra) architecture. And, importantly EA is an overarching and all encompassing meta-architecture inclusive of all those levels of architecture that holistically represents an enterprise in relevant abstractions.

Architecture is a holistic sum striving to achieve systemic balance by aligning function, performance and cost

Math and statistical although important, those approaches alone are not adequate to envision future capabilities for an organization. Likewise advents in technology alone do not necessarily prove transformative. Knowledge of IT architecture by itself is not transformative. Instead, EA as a discipline  requires to integrate Architecture, Capital Planning and Program Portfolio Management. All these brought together by productive Governance; even then the challenges of future remains fleeting.

7. Not for those who think Taxonomy suffices to represent EA and NOT Ontology 



There is distinct semantics used to represent each of the layers (“separation of concerns”). Semantics introduces dimensionality to the architecture layers and they cannot be represented with limited set of semantics in limited dimensions. Each layer that is semantically different from the other requires transformation in planning and design to discover the opportunities in each layer. Ontology plays an important role in developing and assimilating ideas leading into discovering creative transformative opportunities. EA is not for those who tend to reduce everything into simple 2D representations in the hope that simplified versions help manage complexity better.

8. Not for those who are Programmatic in Approach and Not Practitioners 

Not for those who do not understand what disposes them to be credible management consultants. Furthermore, also not for those management consultants who have not gained appreciation for structure, semantics driven architecture and mechanism within; and their role together in systemic transformation, functional modernization and economic optimization.

Consultants are those who have gained immense multi-lateral experience in the industry in variety of areas especially in conducting transformation, modernization and optimization related activities. Generally individual gains such experiences driven by motivation to solve large fleeting problems those are systemic in nature. Not by pursuing opportunities where sole motivation is revenue generation no matter what.

Practitioners develop insight by assiduously probing the problem and complexity. The skills do not develop overnight. It is not swashbuckling nor shooting through the hip. It is developing opportunity by being proactive and intense probing.

There are no Outliers (myth destroyed by  Malcolm Gladwell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers_(book) )

“””A common theme that appears throughout Outliers is the “10,000-Hour Rule”, based on a study by Anders Ericsson. Gladwell claims that greatness requires enormous time, using the source of The Beatles’ musical talents and Gates’ computer savvy as examples.[3] The Beatles performed live in HamburgGermany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time, therefore meeting the 10,000-Hour Rule. Gladwell asserts that all of the time The Beatles spent performing shaped their talent, and quotes Beatles’ biographer Philip Norman as saying, “So by the time they returned to England from Hamburg, Germany, ‘they sounded like no one else. It was the making of them.'”[3]Gates met the 10,000-Hour Rule when he gained access to a high school computer in 1968 at the age of 13, and spent 10,000 hours programming on it.[3]“””

9. Not for those who provide professional expertise as Contractor and NOT as Practitioner




It is not a contracting role – In theory contracting assumes that the client understand the requirement and they control the way project gets executed. This is obviously flawed approach.

Generally those who have thrived only in delivering IT services of operational nature are not the candidates for conducting management consulting, since most of their career has been delivering IT solutions and services for a requirement determined by the client and their consultants.

10. Not for those who do not value Professional Integrity


Importantly EA is a Practitioner Discipline introducing high standards emphasizing on quality in rendering and most importantly professional ethics promoting the desired ethos for organization’s evident growth and maturity. The results of EA achieves transparency, accountability and line of sight driven by “structuralism” striving to achieve “order”.

11. Not for those who build career around Tools and NOT around Discipline Integrating Science and Art

EA is not a discipline that can be developed by building career around tools. Tools by themselves do not create Art and neither advances Science. EA is integrative of architecture, capital planning and program management. All these driven by corporate governance.



12.Not for those who engage merely in IT Operation and Implementation

EA is integrative of strategy, operations and implementation


13. Not for those who DO NOT Develop Enterprise Transition Plan and Operating Model (must skill for EA)



14. Not for those who think EA and Solution Architecture are synonymous



 15. Not for those obsessed with Dominance and NOT Balance

EA cannot help organization achieve balance and sustainability without Governance


16. Not for those who engage Masquerading Solution Facades and Intellectual Contrives 

EA improves “Loss of Innocence” while it DEFEATS Solutions that do not align with context.


 17. Not for those who think Service Oriented Architecture, Correlation Architecture, etc by themselves constitute EA


 18. Not for those who merely think Strategy alone and NOT Innovation help create Newer Opportunities

Innovation to create newer opportunities while achieving higher order in capabilities and business sustainability are key to ensure system harmony against the challenges of existing and ensuing complexities.


List for NOT’s can be endless….

…N. Is Certainly for System Thinkers


Operating Model – Have Fed Agencies abandoned creating “Enterprise Transition Plan” ? ETP is challenging for the OCIO

Enterprise Transition Plan – Line Of Sight – Operating Model

Ref:- FEAC Institute, FEA Guidance, INGINE INC, Srinidhi Boray[/

Conceiving a coherent modernization plan and executing them has always been a challenge for OCIO. Enterprise Transition Plans generally documents the visions, goals, capabilities at the strategic level and then progresses to envisage “target conceptual architecture”, while planning for tactical efforts working through the mechanisms of architecture lifecycle needed to transition towards the target enterprise conceptual architecture. This results into creating the “roadmap”. The documents that holistically speaks to organizationals capability in reaching such a roadmap is the “Enterprise Transition Strategy”.

Reading the Enterprise Transition Strategy following should be evident:

Organization’s maturity and competence to perform and embrace the future capabilities

Organization’s present constraints in delivering the needed “capabilities”

The profile of the architecture cross sections (segments) needing modernization to develop the intended “portfolio of capabilities”

Investment Profile – planned to executive segment modernization

The governance structure and mechanism that engages the different functional capabilities, such as leadership – management, lines of businesses, enterprise architecture, capital planning and program management. This group together develops and vets – strategic plans, tactical plans and implementation plans governed by following  life cycles

  • Performance Management (Architect, Invest, Implement)
  • Architecture Segment (Notional, Planned, In-Progress, Completed)
  • Release Architecture (sadly mostly do not plan this – it is here interdependence of architectures or capabilities are realized and maintained)
  • Capital Planning (Preselect, Select, Control & Evaluate)
  • Investment (mixed, steady state, Development, Modernization & Enhancement -DME)

A “Sequence Plan” along with “Implementation Plan” is developed to reach the desired Target Architecture (temporal perspective)

Finally Operating Model – The most important component – it assimilates all the decisions chosen for creating an operating leverage, that creates degree or order of leverage to deal with inherent systemic complexities against the efforts of creating economy of scale in delivering the enterprise capabilities essential for delivering the enterprise mission.

More discussion in below link in creating Enterprise Transition Strategy


Transformation Framework Capturing an Operating Model


Distortions leads to Cancerous Growth within Enterprise

Programmed Cell Death is very important function to understand to gain insight into the way Transformation need to occur. When distortions occur in Enterprise Engineering, then this leads into obvious cancerous growth, which does not have easy remedy.

How many CIO’s in the market inadvertently are responsible for distortions?! Countless.

FSAM EA Assessment Version 3.0 – Revisions / Changes

Emphasis On Results

Emphasis seems to have moved towards Outcomes / Performance achieved as a consequence of an integrative approach- EA – CPIC – PMO, rather than mere architecture work-products (artifacts). Most importantly the revised FASM seems to arrest the OMB submissions by the agencies that masquerades in meeting the compliance while the enterprise architecture integrity still remains grievously in the lacking.

EA – PMO – CPIC Integration

Unless agencies strives in working as a collaborative unit while relying on a coherent governance that is built around sound integration of EA, CPIC & PMO no clear picture can ever be achieved. Especially, all the efforts in determining the ‘Total Cost Of Ownership’ for the prioritized businesses needing IT enablement will end in inevitable futility.

More Frequent Monitoring By OMB

OMB in the proposed revision will be monitoring the EA assessment submissions more frequently. Earlier only one submission a year was needed, now it will be necessary to submit 4 times a year. What does this mean? more paper work (defeats the very purpose of eGov 🙂 ). Should EA repository achieve architectural integrity, reflect accurately the state of the project and change management is efficiently maintained, then frequent submission will no more be a challenge . If inherently EA is in the lacking, then all efforts including the increased frequency in conducting EA assessment will fail in arresting the the inherent atrophy. When one begins to designs in quality, then testing and assessment will prove to be redundant functions.

Assessment of Target Architecture under FSAM

Assessment of Target Architecture under FSAM

EA Assessment requirement under new FSAM

EA Assessment requirement under new FSAM

Enterprise Architecture Framework for Transition Planning (Line of Sight based)

- FEAC Institute, FEA Guidance, INGINE INC, Srinidhi Boray

Ref:- FEAC Institute, FEA Guidance, INGINE INC, Srinidhi Boray

Most challenging issue that confronts CIO is Modernization Planning. All-most all of them fail in envisaging a plan that accurately considers and tackles the issues in spatial, temporal and finally with budgetary aspects. Economics will prove to transcend all skills in Enterprise Architecture Planning. Combining integrative disciplines – EA – Economics – Program Planning and Management – one must strive to achieve “degree of operating leverage” on the available / created economy of scale. Only this ensures best value return on investment. In such thinking – ideas such as – operating leverage, degree of leverage, economy of scale and these discussed in the operating model as part of the transition plan is vital.


OMB – FEA Segment Architecture Based Planning Fraught with Empirical Dilemma (Cognitive Dissonance)

The new Federal Segment Architecture Methodology Link below.




The New Guidance is still based on Federal Reference Models and the emphasis on Service Reference Model continues to exists. This means the ‘Reuse Plan’ continues to be based on SRM. Check out Step 4 under ‘Analysis’.


Reference: FEA Practice Guidance (This is the old link prior to 2009)

Segment Architecture based Planning

OLDER : Segment Architecture based Planning

By Srinidhi Boray

Following inaccuracies in the OMB’s Reference Model and Segment Architecture Methodology – allows for inadvertently promoting bureaucracy in the agency’s OCIO rather than reducing it.

1. Notion of ‘Reuse’ by extending the abstraction of ‘common services’

To understand “reuse plan” with regards to agencies redundancy reduction planning it is worth establishing clarity between “empirical” and “analysis,” with regards to “common services” a term defined within the Federal Enterprise Architecture Reference Model framework that was established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) is a business- and performance-based framework designed to facilitate cross-agency collaboration, transformation, and government-wide improvement.

oEmpirical –

§ Relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory (ref – http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empirical)

oAnalysis –

§ 1: separation of a whole into its component parts

§ 2 a: the identification or separation of ingredients of a substance b: a statement of the constituents of a mixture

§ 3 a: proof of a mathematical proposition by assuming the result and deducing a valid statement by a series of reversible steps b (1): a branch of mathematics concerned mainly with limits, continuity, and infinite series (2): calculus 1b

§ 4 a: an examination of a complex, its elements, and their relations b: a statement of such an analysis

(ref –http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/analysis)

The term “common services” defined within the Service Reference Model has an empirical notion. Meaning it is something that observed or experienced. It does not lend to analysis that is necessary to understand the system behavior, wherein the system is composed of components having ‘logical’ behavior that can be created in a componentized manner. With this as the basis it must be concluded that during the application of the notion ‘common services’ in the reuse plan, it is merely applied in the empirical sense, although the intension is to eventually drive the results derived into analytical perspectives that is useful for designing technical reusable components across agency line of businesses.

2. Service Reference Models as Service Oriented Architecture

Although the Service Reference Model is useful for conducting planning to achieve reuse across (intra) agencies by means of exploring common services, it does not lend satisfactorily into logical architecture analysis for an (inter) agency. Especially that analyzes the businesstosystem and “system-to-system” interactions that uniquely fulfill a business sub-function. It must be noted that when the enterprise architecture migrates towards Services Oriented Architecture supported by infrastructure built upon the Enterprise Service Bus, the “system-to-system” analysis will be no more relevant as the interactions will be designed into a logical federated architecture. The notion of ‘business services’, ‘enterprise services’ etc within the Service Reference Models are empirical and not analytical useful for any architecturally significant discussion. Especially with regards to Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Although, SRM could be used as ‘conceptual’ models they do not satisfactorily extend into logical ‘SOA’ based constructs.

The reuse analysis based on ‘common services’ does not target any implementation strategy via a design decision particularly that is uniquely based on the ‘service oriented architecture’. It merely looks for occurrence of ‘common services’ and establishes a case for driving a composite set of software tool that will eventually help in establishing unified EA framework

3. Planning Segment Architecture in isolation inherently promotes ‘Silos’

OMB guidance introduces distortions in the big picture considerations deemed necessary for redundancy reduction planning in the segment architecture area. During redundancy reduction planning, if the segment architectures are individually attempted as per the agency business priorities, then there is always a lurking danger of planning the operational and tactical aspects at the segment architecture level that does not include the issues that impacts the overall agency. As enterprise architecture in its overarching sense is in the missing, although it is spoken in terms of reference models.

Power of Architecture as a Discipline:

Techniques within architecture can endow mind with great capacity. For instance “perspective” is one such  great capability with which one can create accurate representations even being blind-folded. This is the power of the architecture as a discipline. Perspective was such a reckoning force that it triggered “Renaissance”.

Read about Esref Armagan, who despite being blind has mastered art by developing ability for perspectives.


Watch the video on Esref Armagan

Note: When the planning mechanism inherently relies on the ’empirical’ notions rather than rationality arrived from incisive analysis and design decisions, then ’empirical dilemma’ occurs. This also leads to cognitive dissonance. The ontology used to describe the architecture of the system riddled with ’empirical dilemma’ will be lacking in logical arrangement of their structure both in spatial and temporal sense. Furthermore, this contributes to the inaccuracies in the behavioral description of the system. When one speaks of a behavior, it must be presumed that something is being measured which makes it observable and hence it has a performance. When any behavior is observed, then what meets the eye and what meets the mind are two different perceptions. The intrinsic  logic that contributes to the system behavior must always be sought rather than relying on the outer manifestations. It is the outer manifestation which typically is ’empirical’. Owing to issues like these, the Reference Models do not sufficiently lend themselves as Architectures.