Implementing Enterprise Architecture

How to Implement EA
By Aaron Tan Dani

In previous articles we explored the Who, What, Why, Where and When of Enterprise Architecture. In this final instalment of our series on EA, we look at “How to implement EA”. For the other articles, we presented a general perspective but for this last piece, our approach is to present something specific to ATD because this article deals with how we help companies to successfully implement EA.

Our approach to EA is called ATD GREAT, which is short for Governance and Realisation of Enterprise Architecture Transformation. It is a six-pronged approach that guides organizations in their journeys towards enterprise transformation:

i) AREA (EA readiness assessment)
ii) GEAR (EA governance)
iii) BRAM (Business Requirement Architecture & Management)
iv) LEAD (EA development)
v) REAL (EA implementation through PMO)
vi) MEAL (EA maturity assessment)

A brief description for each of the ATD GREAT components:

ATD AREA (Assessment of Readiness for EA)
Enterprise architecture readiness assessment is an organization’s health check that identifies areas that need to be improved or fixed prior to adopting EA. This is achieved through multiple assessment sessions that cover various Enterprise Architecture Readiness Factors. It will all be documented together with the necessary action steps and recommendations on what needs to be done in order to achieve successful EA Implementation.

ATD GEAR (Governance of EA and Regulation)
ATD GEAR, which is adapted from the TOGAF Governance Framework model, provides a governance framework that integrates seamlessly with ATD LEAD and ATD REAL (more on that later) to provide the necessary support for effective implementation of EA by applying COBIT5 as the world’s best practice of Business IT Governance implementation.

ATD BRAM (Business Requirement Architecture & Management)
For any EA initiative to be successful, it is necessary to capture the “concerns” and then matching the “needs” and “wants” of stakeholders. This is all about getting the right business requirements using business scenario techniques and allowing stakeholders to evaluate and update these requirements as accurately as possible. A sound Business Requirement Architecture approach will ensure that requirements must thoroughly consider every possible business scenarios.

ATD LEAD (Lifecycle of EA Development)
ATD LEAD, based on best practices from the Architecture Development Method from the Open Group, tailors the framework provided in TOGAF to the specific needs of the enterprise. Unlike an academic approach to TOGAF, this method has customized steps to deliver the greatest value without overwhelming the organisation with information overload and unnecessary red tape. The outcome of this process will be the Architecture Building Blocks: Business Architecture, Data Architecture, Application Architecture and Technology Architecture.

ATD REAL (Roadmap of EA Live)
Kicking in at the conclusion of the development lifecycle, ATD REAL sets the platform roadmap for future project initiatives that will utilize the Architecture Building Blocks developed through ATD LEAD. It prioritizes and consolidates requirements across enterprise business sections and interoperability requirements across architecture domains for integrated development and deployment of the new capabilities. The output of this process is a list of prioritized projects, based on the IT Architecture Return of Investment (ITA-ROI) as well as Risk Management Techniques, to be realized by the Project Management Office and solution architects.

ATD MEAL (Maturity of Enterprise Architecture Lifecycle)
The assessment for the Maturity of EA Lifecycle is an organization health check that allows stakeholders to objectively assess the progress of the organization’s EA development. It is based on the enterprise Architecture Capability Maturity Model (ACMM) that was first developed by the US Department of Commerce for conducting its internal EA assessments. This is basically a framework that represents the key components of productive EA processes that can identify areas of weakness so that more focus and attention can be given to improve the overall EA process.

In a nutshell, ATD GREAT is an approach that will cut across organizational boundaries, tackling the challenges of lack of visibility and communications that occur in many organizations. It will ensure the alignment of an organization’s business strategy goals with its IT solutions in a way that is effective (satisfying the right business requirements), efficient (optimum resources), economical (minimum cost) and carries with it the desired business values (ROI, TCO and P&L). It is our proven method for successfully implementing EA.


Aaron Tan Dani, President of EA-Chapter, SCS
Visit our website and join our activities as part of the EA-Chapter to learn how you can implement Digital-Business-driven EA in your organisation.

Aaron Tan Dani, Founder and Chairman of Iasa Asia Pacific
Visit our website to learn more about ITABoK (IT Architecture Body of Knowledge) skillsets and about the roles, scopes and impacts of EA Specializations (Business Architecture, Information Architecture, Software Architecture, Infrastructure Architecture and Solution Architecture).

You might also be interested in...