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Communicating EA Effectively: Building a Successful Relationship between Business and IT within the Organization US GPO Experience. EA as a communication tool. Facilitating EA efforts Brings people together to solve problems Within and across work units and departments. Some Background.

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Communicating EA Effectively:Building a Successful Relationship between Business and IT within the OrganizationUS GPO Experience

ea as a communication tool
EA as a communication tool
  • Facilitating EA efforts
    • Brings people together to solve problems
    • Within and across work units and departments
some background
Some Background
  • GPO is a Legislative Branch Agency
  • Our mission is: Keeping America Informed
  • Under Title 44, the office prints and provides electronic access to documents produced by and for all three branches of the federal government
  • EA program started in 2006 (with the EA repository dating back to 2004)
gpo s ea framework and objectives
GPO's EA Framework and Objectives
  • EA framework: strategy, business, information, systems/services, technology, security and performance
  • EA repository
  • Process improvement
  • IT governance
  • EA as a service – building relationships as a trusted partner
  • Making it simple - demystifying EA
  • Bottom up approach
  • Understanding business needs
  • EA as a facilitator
another dimension
Another Dimension
  • Usual focus on strategic, business and technology aspects of the enterprise
  • Another dimension is key to EA program success:

Effective Communication

This dimension has to be integrated with the core

EA framework early on in the process.

ea concepts and principals to secure buy in
EA concepts and principals to secure buy-in:
  • Using bottom-upapproach to building EA
  • Service focused EA with an emphasis on providing value to customers
  • Building relationships and fostering collaboration between IT and business units
  • Serving as trusted facilitator between business units and IT
  • Making it simple – big picture enterprise view

Communicating effectively is key

to the success of the EA Program

bottom up approach
Bottom-up approach

Analyze where EA has the ability to help solve old problems

  • Lack of communication among business units and IT
  • Disparate system efforts
  • Disparate packets of business knowledge
  • Lack of standards
leading business process improvement
Leading Business Process Improvement
  • Tie EA tasks (e.g. building target business architecture) to building trust among EA and business units.
    • Develop business processes that cover functions across multiple business units
    • Tailor the EA message to each stakeholder group
    • Business units trust EA as a facilitator/SME
evolution of it governance at gpo
Evolution of IT Governance at GPO

FY09 Q3

ARB Charter Signed

FY09 Q1

EA Policy Signed

FY 07

FY 08

FY 09

FY07 Q3

SIWG Kick-off

FY09 Q1

ARB Kick-off

FY08 Q4

TRMWG Kick-off

system interface working group
System Interface Working Group

Representatives from business units (business owners)

and IT SMEs/PMs

  • Provides an “enterprise-wide” perspective of IT systems integration and interoperability opportunities.
  • Group comprised of both EA and Business Unit representatives tasked with:
    • Identifying the interfaces between major systems and determining the implementation timelines
    • Validating existing functions, sub-functions, and identifying gaps
    • Developing a common business language across the systems utilizing the EA Business Reference Model
  • Provides a forum for:
    • Surfacing interagency IT systems integration issues
    • Sharing of information
    • Problem solving
system interface working group sample work products
System Interface Working GroupSample Work Products

Order to Payment Process Model

Sequencing Diagram

System Interface Matrix

value of building credibility through grass roots efforts of the siwg
Value of building credibility through “grass roots” efforts of the SIWG
  • Promote EA as a service to the agency and the stakeholders
  • Build relationships of trust by bringing business units and IT together
    • to build a new business process or
    • to analyze interdependencies between software projects
  • Become a trusted facilitator who understands both, the business need and IT capabilities, and also provides an enterprise view in a simple, easy-to-understand format

These are important steps to take before implementing IT governance structure that can function successfully.

technology reference model working group trmwg
Technology Reference Model Working Group (TRMWG)
  • Assist stakeholders with technology product selection
    • Develop guidance to GPO IT stakeholders for technology standards and products selection
    • Develop and maintain a repository of technology standards
  • Enable standardization and reduce complexity of the GPO IT environment
    • Review technology standards to ensure that GPO technologies are in alignment with the needs of the organization as well as with current and emerging trends
    • Evaluate technology products and standards for inclusion in the GPO TRM
  • Enable IT governance
    • Review technology products to ensure that GPO technology products are compliant with the GPO TRM
  • Communicate technology standards to stakeholders across GPO
    • Publish technology standards on the GPO intranet so they are accessible to stakeholders
transition to it governance
Transition to IT Governance
  • Building on reputation built by previous collaboration and integration efforts through the SIWG and TRMWG
    • SIWG brought together and built trust between business and IT with EA as a mediator/facilitator
    • TRMWG realized the necessity of an IT governance framework that goes beyond compliance to finding common solutions that reduce costs and complexity
  • Created customer focused EA governance structure.
customer focused governance structure
Customer Focused Governance Structure

Business Owner



funding decision

Business process improvements


business case


Architecture Review Board

Planning and Strategy Board

(Investment Review Board)

EA Team




Technical Reference Model

Working Group

System Interface

Working Group

  • Provides oversight for the development of technology standards
  • Ensures compliance with the TRM
  • Identifies interfaces between systems
  • Determines dependencies between system implementations
gpo ea policy and the arb
GPO EA Policy and the ARB
  • To comply with the GAO EA Maturity Management Framework and OMB guidelines, the GPO EA team developed the agency EA policy in collaboration with GPO stakeholders
  • Signed by the Deputy Public Printer, the GPO Directive 705.31 GPO Enterprise Architecture Policy is now available on the intranet.
  • EA policy called for creation of the ARB - a formally chartered committee guided by the agency EA policy.
architecture review board
Architecture Review Board
  • EA integrates with the GPO system development life-cycle (SDLC) through the ARB’s review of business cases and review of IT projects’ key deliverables
  • ARB is a cross functional team comprised of representatives from business units, the Program Management Office and IT subject matter experts.
assist in business case development for new investments
Assist in Business Case Development for New Investments
  • Agency business cases need to be presented to the ARB (tied to GPRA goal).
  • EA, with help from ARB members, developed a business case template that makes sense for GPO
  • EA assists business units in developing business cases
    • EA identifies additional stakeholders in IT and other business units to help insure enterprise solutions where possible
    • EA works with the ARB and the business owner to develop the business case
  • ARB votes on recommendation for the business case which sometimes includes both short term and long term/strategic solutions
ea decision support
EA Decision Support

Enabling and empowering the GPO community to make informed decisions:

  • Providing a common framework for analysis and evaluation supporting the implementation of enterprise solutions
  • Facilitating cross-organizational sharing of information
  • Integrating acquisition process with IT governance (CPIC, EA, SDLC, and acquisition management ) :
    • Developing standard language to be included in SOWs and RFQs ensuring EA alignment .
    • Completing architecture reviews of proposed investments
ea facilitating it strategic planning
EA facilitating IT Strategic Planning
  • GPO EA team led a series of four strategic planning workshops with IT Directors as participants.
  • Focus on managing expectations regarding the participants’ roles and responsibilities and the establishment of realistic time frames for the planning process.
  • Developed IT Core Values, a Value Statement, and an IT Mission and Vision.
  • Conducted SWOT analysis to assess IT’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats from which strategic goals and objectives were derived.
  • Selected six all encompassing themes and IT Goals.
  • EA team consolidated, refined and mapped all goals and objectives and developed the final IT Strategic Plan.
  • The collective efforts of the OCIO team lead to ownership of the plan and consensus among CIO leadership team on its strategic direction.

Communicating EA at GPO

  • EA as a communication tool
  • Communicating about EA

Communication Influence on Behavior Change



Communication Objectives







Message Sources

communicating ea at gpo
Communicating EA at GPO
  • To increase awareness of the value that EA brings to the agency, EA Program office collaborates with the GPO Employee Communications Office to develop an EA Communications Strategy and Plan
  • Publish articles in the GPO Typeline Magazine which is distributed agency-wide and GPO Leaders’ Update which is distributed to GPO management
Confessions of Process Mappers

Read how your colleagues Lowell Brown, Erica Lopez, Manny Olds, and Sam Sax, are working with the Enterprise Architecture group to get a head-start on an huge process mapping project

Last week, you read how the Enterprise Architecture group can help guide you in creating your process maps [see Enterprise Architecture. Abstract Name. Real Results]. Here you’ll read about a few satisfied customers who have worked with the group and have started their process maps.

Secret #1: Start now

“When we knew that we had to create process maps, we immediately recognized that we had to get started quickly,” said Sam Sax, chief of the Testing and Technical Services division. “We knew that mapping the entire production process—from print request to final product—would be nearly a year-long project.” Sam was referring to the meeting last October with Paul Erickson during which …

Secret #2: Get the right resources

“After the October meeting, we met with the Enterprise Architecture group to see how they could help us,” said Sam. “They went over methods of doing the process maps, but the most helpful thing was the software. They walked us through the System Architect software that we now use to make elaborate process maps. The software is immensely helpful and so much more powerful than other software packages.”

Lowell, Erica, and Manny have been using the software and building their, as you can imagine, huge process map. “Basically, our process map has four boxes, one for each area of production—prepress, press, bindery, and delivery,” Sam added. “But it’s the literally hundreds of smaller processes within each of those four boxes where everything happens. We’re talking about being able to see a map that shows every step along the production process. We still have some more work to do, but the map is well on its way to proving its worth.”

Secret #3: Map now, adjust later

The map Sam’s team is making is the as-is state of the production process. Once you know how the whole process works, you can sit back and start to make adjustments to make it more efficient. “We’ve only been working for a little more than a month on the map, but already we’re seeing areas that are candidates for improvement,” said Sam. “We see places where we can make adjustments to increase throughput …

Sam wrapped it all up by saying, “The best advice I can give to my fellow managers is to get started as soon as possible. Start by talking to the Enterprise Architecture group, and then begin your process mapping. Mapping will teach you a lot about what is currently occurring within your manufacturing process, and it will show you how you can improve your process.”

Back to top

gear website
GEAR Website
  • Easy to use web published version of the EA Repository from System Architect
  • Defines multiple navigation paths- based on the user’s perspective
  • Shows how all the pieces fit together
  • Discover opportunities for improvement and collaboration across the enterprise
  • EA Sequencing Plan and EA other products are published online
  • Presented the GPO Online Technical Reference Model (TRM) at the IBM Rational Software Conference Innovation 2009. This web tool was developed by the GPO EA Program Office
customer focused ea
Customer Focused EA
  • Responding to requests from business units for assistance with documenting business processes (as-is and to-be) and support for business process improvement
  • Assisting business units in developing business cases for future systems (focusing on enterprise solutions)
  • Building buy-in and implementing IT governance structure and processes
  • Fostering collaboration with project teams by providing information and analyses leveraging the EA Repository
  • Conducting training sessions on the accessing and use the online EA products

EA is bringing business units together to develop integrated business processes and IT solutions through effective communications

contact information
Contact Information

Ida MilnerChief

Nicole WillisSenior Enterprise