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Roger Evernden

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Roger Evernden is a Senior Consultant with Cutter Consortium's Business & Enterprise Architecture practice. He specializes in the highly practical use of EA to manage organizational transformation. Read more ...

Jul 262016
 
Levels of Architectural Understanding

Early on in my EA career, I was very fortunate to become involved in a pioneering EA initiative at Westpac. My introduction to Westpac came when I helped its Group Data Resource Management team develop tool and repository support for its enterprise business model. During this engagement, I kept hearing people refer to an exciting but very hush-hush project that went under the code name “CS90.” I was intrigued and determined to find out more. That proved very difficult because the project was so leading-edge and innovative that all its documentation was marked at the highest level of secrecy. To make it even harder for competitors to find out what Westpac was doing, CS90 was divided Read more

Feb 222016
 
The Role of EA in an Age of Terrorism

Clearly we live in a world where terrorism is a major global threat. So when the Cutter IT Journal team asked me for my thoughts about technology trends and predictions for 2016, I started thinking about the role of enterprise architecture (EA) in an age of terrorism. Terrorism can affect any enterprise at any time, and by its very nature, the impact and consequences of a terrorist attack cannot be predicted. In some ways, this is no different from many other external events — political, economic, environmental, social, or techno­logical — that have a direct effect on an enterprise. To be resilient and sustainable, enterprise architectures must be able to respond and adapt positively to Read more

Sep 082015
 
Perceptions of Time in EA Teams

We all have different perceptions of time, and our individual perceptions are influenced by the culture and norms of an enterprise. Our experiences of time have been researched and studied from many perspectives. For example, think about attitudes to the following in various enterprises or cultures: What is the attitude toward time-keeping? Do meetings start on time, stick to their agenda, and end on time? How many clocks are there in a building or meeting room? Do people keep checking the time? Is it acceptable to arrive late for meetings or appointments? How much time is allocated to different tasks? Do you have enough time to think properly about the vision? How often does it Read more

Apr 072015
 
Why Embrace a Process- and Content-Driven Approach to EA?

A curious thing happens when an EA team adopts a particular framework — it takes on the preconceptions of that framework. This broadly means that companies adopting TOGAF assume a process-driven approach to EA, while those using the Zachman Framework embrace a more content-driven style. Does this matter? From my observations of EA teams that I work with, this does matter because it has a significant impact on how you architect! More than that, it is my belief that this preconception toward a process- or content-driven tactic imposes a one-sided approach, resulting in less-effective EA outcomes. When EA follows a process it often becomes reactive, prescriptive, and inflexible — rather than proactive, supportive, and adaptable. Read more

Dec 142014
 
EA to Reflect On and Upgrade Its Role

2015 is an anniversary year for Enterprise Architecture. It is 40 years since Richard Saul Wurman coined the phrase “Information Architecture” — in 1975. Information Architecture became Information Systems Architecture, and then Enterprise Architecture. I predict that enterprise architects will use this anniversary to reflect on the history of our discipline and its position within the organization structure. For a long time, EA was firmly part of the IT department. More recently the EA team has been found as a stand-alone unit, independent of IT or business. 40 years on, EA will increasingly establish its role as a key member of strategic decision making, capability evolution and organizational change management. To a certain extent, Enterprise Architects Read more

Feb 112014
 

  The architecture of many enterprises is designed to perpetuate existing capabilities by maintaining the status quo. In effect, the role of the architecture team is to systematically hone and improve capabilities by exploiting and making the best use of current skills, resources, and assets or developing new capabilities by adding to those skills, resources, and assets. Typically, changes are made through carefully planned incremental steps. Such architectures may serve the current business model well, but they risk the possibility that the business model becomes obsolete or that it is supplanted by the innovative business model of a competitor that has greater contemporary relevance. The distinction is very clear if we compare traditional high-street bookshops Read more

Dec 092013
 
Stealth Enterprise Architecture!

This year I’m predicting more stealth enterprise architecture! I’d like to say that I invented this phrase, but I’ve found at least two previous uses: one in a comment by Peter Parslow in 2010; the other from Alec Blair, the head of Enterprise Architecture for Alberta Health Services, who described the journey of how his team has used stealth Enterprise Architecture to move AHS to operate more consistently like one organization. Now, Enterprise Architects have always had to play the political game and use stealth to sell their EA visions. Tricking decision makers into taking small steps that in combination cause longer-term transformation has long been part of the art of EA. At an Enterprise Read more