Tag Archives: 2009-03-17

Yesterday’s Enterprise Architecture Case Studies Presentation

I’m putting it down to Saint Patrick because yesterdays “Case Studies of Enterprise Architecture” presentation went down even better than Monday’s Futurology lecture; something I really thought could not happen!

Many thanks to all those that attended last night, it was extremely encouraging for me as a speaker to see such a large turn out. We had around seventy people at the event, which was extremely good going and as well as the nature and content of the presentation I attribute the large participation to two factors; (1) the IET and BCS working together to deliver joint events, to the credit of the two organisations, and (2) the excellent and very professional publications and marketing capabilities of the IET and BCS. Many of the attendees were neither members of the IET nor BCS and it was really good to see so many potential members come along.

Also attending the event were Sun Microsystems only Fellow of the IET, Mike Ashton, one of our leading Programme Managers world-wide, a Sun “Principal Project Manager”, Anthony Harrison of the BCS’s newest ‘Speciality Group’, that of Enterprise Architecture itself, Andrew Mohan, Chairman of the BCS Manchester Branch, and Paul Ashmore, Leader of the IET Manchester “Engineering, management and manufacturing technical group”.

Special thanks to both Andrew and Paul, as well as Arvind Sud (of Sun Microsystems), for setting up and co-ordinating the event with participation and involvement from both the IET and BCS. At the end of the presentation I was extremely surprised, and pleased, to be presented with a pair of crystal flutes, so many thanks for that.

As usual afterwards I stayed around to speak with the attendees, and answer their questions, I even got a pint of Guinness too! I’ve included the follow up information that people either asked or emailed about here:

  • Lot’s of people have asked for a copy of the slides, although as I said during the presentation it’s not much use without the Brummy at the front because this demonstrates my current preference on slides (i.e. not a lot on them except for a few key data points whilst I concentrate on giving an informative and interesting presentation), however a copy is available here (in PDF format): http://blogs.sun.com/eclectic/resource/presentation/Enterprise-Architecture-Case-Studies-2009-Manchester-0.1.pdf
  • The Thoughtworks article, by their then CTO, Rebecca Parsons, entitled “Enterprise Architects Join the Team”, which contains probably the earliest suggestion of rotation of staff to and from project teams to help minimise ‘Ivory Tower’ syndrome is available here (in PDF format): http://martinfowler.com/ieeeSoftware/enterpriseArchitects.pdf
  • Francis Heyligen’s paper on the subject of increasing system complexity and information overload caused by the Ephemeralization of systems, and how this complexity can negate some of benefits of that Ephemeralization (a key problem I see in the proliferation of complexity of large scale IT estates), entitled “Complexity and Information Overload in Society: why increasing efficiency leads to decreasing control” is here (in PDF format): http://web.archive.org/web/20070103091059/http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/papers/Info-overload.pdf
  • As to the young person asking about PhD syllabuses in “Large Scale and Complex Computing” and “Web Sciences” respectively, then I’d probably suggest having a look at the University of York (especially their “Centre for Complex Systems Analysis” facility) and Bristol University (specifically their “Advanced Computing Research Centre” facility) for the former and the University of Southampton (and it’s “School of Electronics and Computer Science” facility) for both the former and the latter. These suggestions are made based upon what I’ve been hearing from across the UK academic computing community over the last year or so.
  • Some research into the comparative effectiveness of Project Management methodologies can be found in “Business Focused IT and Service Excellence” by David Miller, specifically the section entitled “Learning from the past” (figures 1.1 and 1.2 particularly pertinent).
  • The first pass review that I did of TOGAF 9 at it’s release, including some of it’s major issues and why I am wholly supportive of the standard despite these, as well as links to number of other reviews of the standard, is here: http://blogs.sun.com/eclectic/entry/open_group_release_togaf_9
  • The blog article I wrote which captures the response to the Capgemini CTO blog that included quotes from the above article, which I had replied to, looking at some of the challenges still facing TOGAF 9 is here: http://blogs.sun.com/eclectic/entry/capgemini_cto_blog_togaf_9
  • The Open Group’s “IT Architect Certification” (ITAC) programme is probably the most mature, objective and framework neutral certification programme for IT Architects. In my opinion ITAC is easily the best of the Architect Certification programmes at the moment, and is based upon demonstrable examples of your work as an Architect; along the vein of ‘implementation matters’, which for me is the only valid current metric. What’s especially good is that it is not biased towards TOGAF whatsoever. Sadly, when I last looked, I found that it was rather expensive and this is the primary reason I believe that it’s adoption has not been as successful as one might have liked. I was hoping that the newly inaugurated BCS Enterprise Architecture Speciality Group might work towards getting the ITAC standard adopted in, or at least integrated with, the BCS and SFIAplus, the IT Skills Framework published by the BCS with support from the IET and the UK e-Skills Council (the sector skills council for IT and Telecoms skills). And I further hoped that at some time in the future we might even see a “Chartered IT Architect” qualification similar to “Charted IT Professional” (CITP) and the beginnings of genuine recognition for the Business and Technology Architectural profession, something I know the IET have already started to persue. Perhaps with the joint effort of the IET and BCS we might see this come about in the relatively near future. The link to the ITAC main page is here: http://www.opengroup.org/itac/
  • Finally no UK wide Sun Tech Days event this year instead we in the UK have decided to host the Sun UK Developer Update, on Thursday the 19th March 2009 (which is tomorrow I’m afraid to say), where there will be the latest news, reviews and updates from Sun’s Java Evangelists and the James Gosling, the original designer behind Java (both Language, Compiler and Virtual Machine): http://uk.sun.com/sunnews/events/2009/mar/developer_conference/

If any more questions come through I’ll make sure that I post my responses in the above list as well as respond directly so that everyone has access to my responses.

Presenting ‘Enterprise Architecture Case Studies’ in Manchester on Tuesday the 17th of March, 2009


This coming Tuesday evening I’m going to be delivering my “Case Studies of Enterprise Architecture” presentation in Manchester, at a meeting hosted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Manchester Network and jointly with the BCS Manchester branch.

For more information the event is advertised both with the IET and BCS. The core details are:

  • Date: 17 March 2009
  • Time: 18:00 Refreshments / 18:30 Start
  • Location: Conference Room 6, The Manchester Conference Centre, Sackville Street, Manchester M1 3BB.
  • Cost: Free, open to all (including non-members of the IET or BCS), no registration required.

The case studies presented explore my experiences with Enterprise Architecture in three major customer engagements. They include an Enterprise Architecture team which led its company into a £70+ million ‘pitfall’; the use of Enterprise Architecture to define a Service Oriented Architecture; and an example of how much Enterprise Architecture is about achieving the proper governance model.

Key takeaways:

  • Enterprise Architecture best practices drawn from multiple engagements.
  • How to use good governance to avoid and limit the ‘Ivory Tower’ syndrome.
  • How to combine Enterprise Architecture and Service Oriented Architecture to deliver sustainable Transformation.

Although given the current downturn I’ll probably also go into some of the issues facing EA programmes due to the credit crunch and what can be done to ensure that they continue to receive executive sponsorship and funding.

Happy to answer any and all questions; please consider that I’ll be attempting to condense three major and very large scale Enterprise Architecture case studies into a talk lasting an hour and a half or so, therefore I will definitely be around to speak with afterwards.

The nice people at the IET have also created a flyer for the event, which is available here.


And I’d just like to say ‘Many Thanks’ to Arvind Sud (of Sun) for originally helping to organise this event with the Engineering, Management and Manufacturing Technical Group of the IET and especially for co-ordinating the initial joint participation of both the IET and the BCS at this meeting.

Links to the IET and BCS pages for the event: