The success rate of Enterprise Architecture projects are contentious due to the difficulty in defining success criteria that can be measured by the Enterprise Architecture (EA) team and their key stakeholders. A contributing factor is that the value of a good architecture is realized only after a series of successful implementation projects that prove the quality of the architecture. What is the solution then? Depending on the organizational culture, experience of the team and type of project, I would recommend one of the following strategies. If the organization is process or workflow driven with an organizational culture that understands process maturity, then a cumtomized version of the Architecture Development Method, with detailed activity steps that are enforced, will enable the architecture management team to collect measures that can be used to measure the efficiency of the team.
Alternatively, in an organization with less formal practices the implementation of standardised processes for architecture development is more difficult. In that case the focus should not be on process compliance, but rather on enforcing the creation of standardised deliverables at critical points during the architecture project.
Louw Labuschagne explains how in any architecture initiative there are three core phases that an architecture project must pass-through, each containing critical transition points that must be monitored. During the architecture project initiation phase, alignment between the business objectives and the architecture initiative must be confirmed and the scope of the project agreed. Throughout the architecture development phase the stakeholders must be able to track the quality of the architecture. Finally,the translation of the architecture into requirements and blueprints for solutions development or procurement will occur during the transition planning phase.
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