Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge
Organizational Scope and Structure of EA

Author: Saurabh Mittal, PhD

The scope of an enterprise architecture establishes the range or extent that it needs to address the business need to bring together the organizationís personnel, processes and technology to achieve business mission. There are several dimensions to scope. The enterprise architecture roadmap identifies the planning time horizon. Typically, this is three to five years and coincides with the budget planning cycle in large organizations.

The enterprise architecture organizational scope includes organizationís business processes, data, and Information Technology assets. Ideally, the entire organization is addressed and various domains (such as finance, human resources, marketing) become stakeholders. In some cases, the architecture involves partnerships of multiple organizations to fulfill a common mission. An EA effort may emphasize different parts of an organization in different enterprise architecture phases depending on resources available and the changing business strategy and investment needs.

The enterprise architecture should contain enough detail to formulate major investments and their lifecycles and projected costs. It should include enough detail to demonstrate that the enterprise strategy is supported by the enterprise architecture in the needed timeframe. The enterprise architecture should show enough detail to ensure that needed interfaces between organizations and between IT systems are adequately specified. The enterprise architecture should provide enough guidance to systems engineers who are developing designs and specifications for implementing specific investments. On the other hand, the EA should not be so detailed that it over-constrains an enterprise. It should be sufficiently general to provide latitude in system design decisions and be responsive to technology changes. In sum, the enterprise architecture should be both sufficiently detailed and specific to constrain and guide strategic decisions, while not over-constraining tactical decisions.

Some of the areas that help define EA scope are:

  • Organizational need and drivers
  • Stakeholders
  • Risks, impediments and barriers
  • Strategy
  • Positioning
  • Perspective taking
  • Security and Risk management
Planning an EA