Is Enterprise Architecture a Discipline or a Practice?

Enterprise Architecture May 19, 2023

A paper that discusses whether Enterprise Architecture (EA) should be positioned as a discipline or a practice.

As a professional person specializing in providing Enterprise Architecture consulting and training services to organizations, I am increasingly confronted by clients and other professionals who are debating the position and status of Enterprise Architecture as a profession. I did a bit of “Google” research and quickly found that the positions within the community are divided into those that view Enterprise Architecture (EA) as a discipline and those that view EA as an organizational practice.

“The Guide to the Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge (EABOK) organizes and characterizes the knowledge content of the Enterprise Architecture (EA) discipline. This organization and characterization promotes a consistent view of EA, establishes the scope and bounds of the EA discipline, and places the discipline in the context of related disciplines.“ enterprise-architecture-body-of-knowledge-eabok/

The JISC Enterprise Architecture Practice Group (EAPG) is a network for practitioners and managers from higher and further education institutions who are using, adopting or are interested in the Enterprise Architecture (EA) approach to support strategic change and improvement.

I believe both sides have a valid point and that there is enough evidence to refer to Enterprise Architecture as both a discipline (actually a subdiscipline) and a practice.

In this white paper I will highlight the key criteria for a discipline and a practice. I will also provide evidence on why I believe Enterprise Architecture is both a discipline and a practice, but first I will define the context of what I believe is the scope of work for Enterprise Architects in organizations.