Where is Enterprise Architecture Going?

By Eric Denniston, Managing Director, Denner Group International

Takeaways: A trending assessment of Change Management and Enterprise Architecture. The connection between Enterprise Architecture and Transformation.

A recent LinkedIn blog started by Jason Uppal, P. Eng. in the LinkedIn Group, Business Transformation Made Straight Forward, has spurred a conversation about what Enterprise Architecture is in simple terms. One answer is that it is “(the) Science of Industrial Engineering applied to non-industrial value chains”.

In my view this lacks simplicity because it uses business jargon not necessarily clear to most people. Further conversation from Kevin Smith in this blog uncovered details about the relationship of Industrial Engineering (IE) to Enterprise Architecture (EA). Diving even deeper, there is discussion about the inherent science supporting IE, Edwards Deming being an Industrial Engineer, and whether or not architecture is based on good science, and the fact that systems engineering defines specific requirements in both management and engineering.

The Genesis of Change Management

This all frames part of the genesis of Change Management and EA which is too voluminous to cover fully here. The blog exchange continues to explore this train of thought toward where Change Management is going by introducing the specific topics of both Enterprise Transformation and Enterprise Architecture.

Two interesting and, I believe interesting, conclusions have so far resulted in this thread: 1) “doing EA only exists to support Transformation” and 2) the “EA will evolve into something that may look like Industrial Engineering…”

So, my interpretation is that EA is a tool, not a simple one, but still a tool, to facilitate transformation. In addition, that this work on Enterprise Architecture is an evolving discipline that will likely experience its own accelerated change throughout my lifetime, and that it incorporates both Systems Thinking and Design Thinking. And finally, that in considering all this from a systems thinking standpoint, we can learn from Kevin Smith’s statement that “(It is) not the Execution of Transformation, but the Transformation of Transformation, to better enable the Transformation of Operations”.

What are your thoughts on this? Email me. I’d love to hear them.

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