Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge
Developing an EA

Project Management

Author: Carla D. Kendrick, PhD

Organizations are complex systems and using enterprise architecture to reflect and represent these systems is not a simple undertaking. Developing, maintaining and sustaining EA requires both planning and management. Therefore, a competency in project management is needed by EA practitioners. Using a formalized project management approach with well-defined steps, clearly defined deliverables, and regular checkpoints (also referred as “gates”) is essential. Good project management also includes implementing metrics to assess performance and determine if deliverables align with organizational goals and objectives. Metrics should also determine if deliverables are meeting the needs of stakeholders. The project management methodology should also link EA with business and IT efforts. Business linkage ensures that the EA effort is effectively translating business goals into project goals. The architecture linkage ensures standards and IT design decisions/governance reflect overall “enterprise” needs. The EA project manager may also find it necessary to serve as the intermediary/negotiator between business and IT. A worthwhile goal is for these linkages to become habitual behavior within an organization.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) defines project management as the “application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.” A basic project management activity is the development of a project plan, and EA projects are no exception. A project plan is a formal document and should receive approval from senior management. Typical topics covered in the plan are: scope, key roles and responsibilities, milestones, deliverables, objectives, governance and metrics. Communicating and setting expectations for the EA effort are also important activities for the EA project manager.

References

  1. Project Management Institute (2018). What is Project Management. Retrieved from https://www.pmi.org/about/learn-about-pmi/what-is-project-management.
  2. Ross, J.W., Weill, P. and Robertson, D.C. (2006). Enterprise Architecture as Strategy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Publishing.
Developing an EA