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Dealing with our clients and prospects worldwide I face companies of completely different maturity in terms of understanding what Enterprise Architecture is. Just look at this list of definitions I collected one year ago and the definitions of EA recently proposed at the Architecture Forum of The Open Group, authors of TOGAF. And do not forget to take in account different perception of EA in the North America and Europe! No wonder that there is a lot of confusion!

Do I need an elevator pitch or do I need a dumbwaiter pitch while trying to get somebody engaged in a value of Enterprise Architecture? Hmmm, frankly saying, I cannot run a maturity assessment first and then select one or the other. Normal people, not just dummies, should be able to understand what Enterprise Architecture is and that should be accomplished without any books! So here is my-mom pitch explaining what Enterprise Architecture provides clarity on:


  1. What do we have and how does it depend on each other?

  2. What do we want to have?

  3. How can we change what we have to that what we want to have?

And that is all!

(Well, as a side effect enterprise architecture often deals with a template of “what we want to have”, so we do not scratch our scalps each time something is going to be repeated again and again. But this is just part of “what do we want to have?”…)

Have you ever seen any building without architecture? Well, I do not. Is there any company without architecture? Well, I doubt this. That is why there is Enterprise Architecture Management, which being applied holistically, not just in IT, supports decision-making at any change time in your company by providing the right and complete insight into your enterprise. Get insight!

Oh, by the way, you can start your enterprise architecture on the back of the napkin (like I did it above) or similarly in excel\visio\power point, however I doubt that it would work for you long enough. Consider an Enterprise Architecture Management System, which is NOT a portfolio or asset or configuration or project management tool or just another BI tool with reports and forms. Full-blown Enterprise Architecture Management System will support you in all 3 questions above and especially at the time of a pure mental work at “what do we want to have?”…

I tried this explanation on my mom and it worked. :-) However she studied computer science 40 years ago, so the experiment was not pure enough. Would you try it yourself and let me know the results? ;-)

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