Snuggle up! Why enterprise architects and process professionals make interesting bedfellows

Craig Reid

Think Enterprise Architecture is the domain of technical boffins designing technical architecture? It's not, writes contributor Craig Reid. Here's why it's time for EA and process to get to know one another better.

As a process person it is easy to think that process is the be-all and end-all of the world. Process is where the work of organisations is performed, but we all know that work in itself can be a misnomer. Work should be about doing the right things, not just doing things right - so work in itself needs to be guided. How do we do that?

Recently I have become more involved with Enterprise Architecture (EA) and its linkages with process. I didn't understand EA at first - I thought it was the domain of technical boffins designing technical architecture - but it's not. EA is about alignment throughout the organisation, it's about delivering business benefits.

Getting to know you...getting to know all about you..

Enterprise architecture should start with the most important person of all – the customer. The business then defines their offering to customers in the form of their business strategy.

The question then is how do we make that strategy a reality? By developing the concept of business services - i.e. services provided to enable the business strategy (each with its own lifecycle). Business services are supported by our old friend business processes - where the work happens. Business processes are a combination of manual and automated processes, supported by technology in the form of information, application and technology services.

By taking an holistic approach we bring all of the elements of enterprise architecture and process into alignment with the customer, and from the customer on down we deliver upon that alignment. So rather than thinking about processes in a vacuum, we must always consider the bigger picture. Customer and business focused enterprise architecture can provide a framework by which business processes can really deliver.

So while EA and process might have seen to be uncommon bedfellows in the past, it's time they snuggle up together and make beautiful business benefits.


First published on Reprinted with permission.