Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge
Measuring the Impact of EA

Keeping an EA program on track to meet the organization's needs requires constant measurement, review and adjustment. An effective EA program can provide value to the enterprise far in excess of the costs of developing the EA. On the other hand, ineffective EA programs tend to produce "shelf ware"—artifacts that are obsolete by the time they are completed and that are never used. A positive return-on-investment for the EA program can help ensure that the program remains adequately funded.

EA programs should be measured at several levels. EA artifacts can be assessed in terms of consistency, completeness, clarity, compliance, costs and timeliness. EA programs should appropriately balance quality, costs and schedule, with timeliness driven by the schedule for making important decisions based on the EA data. This will typically require an incremental approach to developing the EA, where portions of the EA are developed to support near-term decisions, and details are filled out later. An incremental approach provides managers with the opportunity to adjust the approach as needs change. EA quality metrics can provide insights into which adjustments are most needed.

The EA program should also be measured in terms of how useful the artifacts have been in driving strategic changes. Utility metrics such as the number of investment decisions that reference the EA or the frequency of implementation of EA recommendations can help managers to focus the EA program on value-added results.

This knowledge area provides references and guidance on how to measure the impact of the EA. It may include frameworks and maturity models for assessing the maturity of EA programs. It may include metrics for measuring EA success at various levels, guidance on how to collect and interpret measurement data, and suggestions on how to make improvements when measurements don't meet expectations.

The EA glossary offers helpful terms and definitions.

Value Proposition

The value proposition of an enterprise architecture is a statement that describes the business value of the EA to the enterprise. The value proposition should align with and reference the purpose established during the EA planning phase.

Quality

Two aspects of quality will have significant impact on the success of an EA. First, the EA artifacts (e.g. purpose statements, data architecture models, strategic documents) can be measured in terms of consistency, clarity, cohesiveness, scope, granularity, breadth, timeliness, or other qualities.

Maturity

Enterprise architecture maturity refers to the degree of formality and optimization of the EA program. An immature EA program may depend on ad hoc practices, weak governance and stakeholder engagement, and poor alignment to business needs.

Measuring the Impact of EA