Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge
Planning an EA

Scope

The scope of an enterprise architecture establishes the range or extent that it needs to address. There are several dimensions to scope. The enterprise architecture time extent 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 those parts of the organization and their business processes, data, and IT to be covered in the effort. Ideally, the entire organization is addressed. 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 changing business strategy and investment needs.

The level of detail scope determines how much detail needs to be included in the enterprise architecture. There are several factors to consider. The enterprise architecture should contain enough detail to formulate major investments and their lifecycles and projected costs. The enterprise architecture should include enough detail to demonstrate that the enterprise strategy is supported by the enterprise architecture in the timeframe needed. 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 sufficiently detailed and specific to constrain and guide strategic decisions, while not over-constraining tactical decisions.

This topic area provides an EA practitioner access to guidance, case studies, and other references that demonstrate defining the scope of an EA, including appropriate level of detail.

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Planning an EA