Association of Enterprise Architects International Committee on Enterprise Architecture Standards. Quality and Principle: What Makes a Good Architecture. Haiping Luo Enterprise Architecture Management Guide (EAMG) Project Manager a|EA EA Standards Committee. Overview.
International Committee on Enterprise Architecture Standards
Enterprise Architecture Management Guide (EAMG) Project Manager
a|EA EA Standards Committee
Can you recognize these buildings or structures? Are they good architectures?
How could you say they are good or bad?
How about these enterprise architectures? Are they good or bad? How could you say one way or another?
What Makes a Good Architecture?
Many things affect how to evaluate an architecture:
From whose perspective?
For what purpose?
Under what context?
In what environment?
In what time frame?
Under what constraints?
Given these varying factors,
Can we define objectively
the quality standards
for enterprise architectures?
The pattern by which elements are interrelated or arranged fits the type and purpose of the enterprise in focus.
The functionalities of the structure support the functions and activities of the enterprise effectively.
Elements have compatible interfaces and exchange media to coordinate and interact with each other.
Elements support and supplement each other so the enterprise whole is better than the sum of individual elements.
The structure conforms to architectural principles.
The architecture enables and supports the growth and continuous improvements of the enterprise and its elements.
The architecture encourages and utilizes opportunity seeking and innovations.
The architecture provides sufficient support to the pursuit of the enterprise’s mission.
The structure can endure a normal range of shocks and impacts from internal or external sources.
The architecture has self-discipline and self-adjustment ability to respond to changes.
The architecture optimizes enterprise-wide resource use (including time and space use) that is affected by the architecture.
The architecture optimizes the enterprise gain that can be obtained through the support of the architecture.
The architecture minimizes the cost to maintain and improve the architecture.
The architecture remains vital and capable over the life of the enterprise.
The changes designed for and implemented in the architecture can persist as intended.
The architecture has embedded-adjustment mechanisms to return to balance, equilibrium, or homeostasis timely, efficiently, and with minimal loss and pain.
The architecture is acceptable by its elements.
Given that these factors vary across enterprises and change over time:
How can we ever say that
an enterprise’s architecture
has met the quality standards?
No, we can’t. There is no absolute point that an enterprise’s architecture can be said having met all or any quality standard on that list.
But, there is hope…
We can always, and should only, evaluate an architecture relatively.
An enterprise’s architecture can be compared to its:
to evaluate improvements and to identify opportunities towards reaching the EA quality standards.
Improving the quality of an enterprise’s architecture
is a journey, a never-ending one.
A Principle is a fundamental law, rule or requirement that leads to desirable results persistently.
An Enterprise Architecture Principle is a fundamental requirement that brings one or more aspects of quality to enterprise architectures persistently.
Avoid Sole Dependency
Establish Balance of Power
Maintain Redundancy, not Duplicates
As part of the a|EA work of developing a Enterprise Architecture Management Guide, a collection of EA principles is being assembled at: http://www.aeablogs.org/cgi-bin/gforum/gforum.cgi?post=205#205.
This collection groups EA principles by enterprise management areas so people can find applicable architecture principles for the specific management area they focus on.
Goal & Strategy
Line of Business
* Each area/domain obtains inputs from all other areas/domains and outputs to all other areas/domains. See the EA Management Guide Integrity Matrix for the method.
Last updated: 4/11/09
Case / System / Situation
EA Quality Standards
Note: This is a game for the audience to match the cases / systems / situations with relevant principles. The arrows between principles and quality standards indicates which quality standards the principle would improve.
Please use lines to link a case with one or more relevant principles.
If a case is likely in conformation with a principle, use a solid line to connect the two;
If a case is likely in violation of a principle, use a dashed line to connect the two.
Basic Tool: EA Repository –
Use EA repositories to documentand relate EA quality standards, EA principles, and requirements; and to monitor and manage compliance and conformation.
A Sample Repository Metamodel Supporting the Implementation of EA Principles:
Baseline Architecture Quality Report
(Indirect relationship: 4 levels away)
Target Architecture Quality Report
(Indirect relationship: 4 levels away)
Proper and thorough decomposition, accountable association to activities and objects are key to implement principles.
Implementing architectural principles is a balancing art since the principles may conflict with each other.
Viewer’s perspective impacts the interpretation of principles and the measures of implementation results.
Things changes constantly, EA improvements must be continuously.
Audience’s Turn: Other inputs / thoughts?