Enterprise Architecture – Linking Teams to the Enterprise

– Knowing where you fit in and the difference you make

Now that the linkage between the delivery and operations of the service has been established and the PM understands how the service enables a capability, it is time to make the connection between the delivery team and the organization.

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is also an age old concept, and again I am sure we have some die-hard experts in our midst on the blog either as authors or readers.

I believe that helping the PM understand EA and its links to Business Architecture (BA) will help to crystallize the role that their delivery team plays in the broader scope of the enterprise.

“An enterprise architecture (EA) is a rigorous description of the structure of an enterprise, which comprise enterprise components (business entities), the externally visible properties of those components, and the relationships (e.g. the behavior) between them. EA describes the terminology, the composition of enterprise components, and their relationships with the external environment, and the guiding principles for the requirement, design, and evolution of an enterprise.[i][ii][iii] This description is comprehensive, including enterprise goals, business process, roles, organizational structures, organizational behaviors, business information, software applications and computer systems.[iv]

PM’s interested in building out their understanding and skill-set in this arena will find that there are multiple frameworks that help an enterprise view itself in terms of EA.

In my current role at Cisco I am engaged in the process of adopting a enterprise architecture framework by ProAct (http://www.proact-ea.com).  The following information is meant only as a reference and not as an endorsement of their services.

ProAct works off-of a framework they call BOST®, which is in reference to the four layers of the enterprise, Business, Operations, Systems and Technology.

According to ProAct, “The essence of architecture is the practice of identifying and structuring components to achieve a planned result. Architecture must take into account the environmental context and the interrelationships of components, both external and internal. Architects deliver “blueprints” and “roadmaps” to designers, engineers, and program managers to enable the “construction” or acquisition of the intended capabilities in a given timeframe.[v]

Using this lens it becomes increasingly clear how the PM plays an important role in connecting the delivery of services into the enterprise and helps them construct or acquire the capabilities.

To learn more about Enterprise Architecture and Business Architecture, check out “Enterprise Architecture As Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution” on Amazon.


[i] Giachetti, R.E., Design of Enterprise Systems, Theory, Architecture, and Methods, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2010.

[ii] Enterprise Architecture Research Forum, http://earf.meraka.org.za/earfhome/defining-ea

[iii] MIT Center for Information Systems Research, Peter Weill, Director, as presented at the Sixth e-Business Conference, Barcelona Spain, 27 March 2007 [1]

[iv] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_architecture

[v] http://www.proact-ea.com/html/framework.html

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