Perfect Partners: Integrated EA and Project Management

When it comes to EA and Project Management, there is no question that they need to have a relationship, and a great one at that.

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For Enterprise Architecture (EA), and in this case TOGAF EA, to be of maximum value in the organization, and even arguably to contribute and survive, it should not be expected or maligned to function as an independent entity. To the contrary, the TOGAF EA framework and its inherent Architecture Development Method (ADM) need to co-exist within organizational contexts that typically include, perhaps surprisingly, complimentary management frameworks for Business Planning, Operations Management, Portfolio/Program/Project Management and Solutions Development.

This need for interoperability between EA and management frameworks is without doubt a critical success factor for EA, and often considered a herculean challenge, but far from being a case of trying to put a square peg in a round hole, enterprises would be well advised not to underestimate the synergies which can and should be created between these part(ner)s… Take TOGAF and Project Management as the perfect example.

Project Management frameworks and methods, such as PMBOK and Prince2 respectively, are necessary and widely utilized to manage the delivery of change in contemporary organizations, and more specifically into operation within the Enterprise. These delivery frameworks per se and the outputs of the projects themselves are subjected to Project Management Governance to ensure not only predictable and consistent delivery, but conformance of the projects and their deliverables too. By the same token there is EA, itself with best practice frameworks like TOGAF and methodologies like ADM, providing structures for integrated business planning and strategic alignment, and the delivery of architectural changes. Similarly, as with Project Management, there is Architecture Governance to ultimately ensure compliance of individual projects with the Enterprise Architecture of the organization. Starting to see the commonality when talking about Project Management and EA yet? Let’s not forget that projects deliver change, and architecture change is simply another type of change.

EA and Project Management depend on each other. Right from the Preliminary Phase of TOGAFs ADM, where establishing the EA Capability in the organization is the end goal, there is a requirement for EA to interoperate with and adopt the Project Management Framework and Methods of the Enterprise. And if there aren’t any… to highlight the business need for such. The next phase in the ADM is the Architecture Vision, and right off the bat the 1st step calls to ‘Establish the Architecture Project’… with further steps to identify stakeholders… and define the scope. Not to mention outputs of the phase including ‘Project Plan and Schedule’. Oh, and yes, all of which should happen within the Project Management Framework of the Enterprise! Through the rest of the ADM phases of defining Business, IS and Technology Architectures, to Opportunities and Solutions, to Migration Planning, Implementation Governance and Architecture Change Management - project management and the ADM work together, hand in hand, to deliver architecture changes into the Enterprise.

So when it comes to EA and Project Management, there is no question that they need to have a relationship, and a great one at that. And we’re not just talking best of friends, they need to be joined at the hip so to speak – or in technology talk, integrated. And while there may be no such thing as perfect, if I ever saw a perfect partnership within the Enterprise, EA and Project Management would be the one.

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