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Zachman International & FEAC Institute

Unfounded Reasons People Tell Me Why They Can't Do Enterprise Architecture

Unfounded

I have been working in the area of Enterprise Architecture for 40 years and people have been telling me (and are still telling me) the reasons why they think it is impossible to do Enterprise Architecture. I think I have distilled these reasons down to five basic objections. Let me enumerate their objections before I explain why these objections exist and why they are completely unfounded. 

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Enterprise Architecture Defined: Primitives and Composites

\F_Abstractions

To return to the basic point ... the kind of descriptive representations (models) you need for engineering are different from the descriptive representations (models) you need for manufacturing.

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The Zachman Framework Requires ZERO Documentation

Ontology

OThe Framework is the Ontology

I have no idea where people get the idea that the Zachman Framework requires any documentation at all. The Zachman Framework is an ontology – the theory of the existence of essential components of an enterprise (actually, of anything) that warrant description in order to successfully create it, operate it or change it. Whether any or all of those components are described (documented, made explicit) is a function of a methodology and the choice of the Enterprise… not a requirement of the Framework.


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How does the Zachman Framework compare to other frameworks?

Comparison

I was asked by a PhD student to fill out a survey for research he was doing about the Enterprise Architecture Frameworks. This is a typical question I get, and it is no wonder because of the confusion about the word "Framework." Just because Enterprise Architect Frameworks have the word "Framework" in their titles, it doesn't mean you can compare the Zachman Framework with them. The Zachman Framework is the ontology. The other frameworks are METHODOLOGICAL frameworks, and the artifacts you create by following those methodologies potentially can be mapped back onto the Zachman Framework Ontology. 

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Zachman Framework Rows. What are they?

Reification

After 30 years of talking about this, I am still shocked at the predominant misconception that the Rows of Zachman Framework define "level of detail," or "waterfall," or "decomposition." This is just not true. The Rows of the Zachman Framework define TRANSFORMATION, NOT decomposition. Level of detail is defined in the HEIGHT of each cell (or Row), NOT the height of the Framework itself. While I originally I called the Rows "Perspectives," the underlying theory that defines the Rows is the philosophical concept of Reification. 

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Zachman Enterprise Engineering - Primitive vs. Composite Review

Primative vs Composite

It is useful to discuss the differences between Primitives and Composites because this is the paradigmatic problem of the Information community of the day. 

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Enterprise Architecture is an Enterprise issue, NOT an IT model-building exercise

EA Misperceptions

The common perception (or more appropriately, mis-perception) of Enterprise Architecture in the general marketplace today is that it is one of an Information Technology (IT), model-building exercise. There is validity to that perception because, in order to engineer the Enterprise, the engineering design artifacts (the descriptive representations of the Enterprise) have to be created as they are the "raw material" for doing engineering work and the IT community seems to have the skills to produce those engineering design artifacts. 

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Intro to EA: The Paradigm Problem

Commercial Computing

 The advent of the commercial employment of computers in the 1950's ushered in an era of dramatic productivity improvements in both the private and public sectors. Clearly, using a computer to perform the processes of the business rather than people performing the processes is better because computers do things the same way every time whereas people make mistakes, computers perform in electrical (or electronic) cycle times and people in human cycle times and computers (in most cases) are cheaper than labor.

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EA Profession vs. Trade

Professionalism

I recently ran across some notes I took from a presentation at an IBM SHARE Conference, August 1991 that may shed some light on the idea of Professionalism. 

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The Information Revolution

Information Revolution

Peter Drucker points out that that this is not the first Information Revolution, this is "The NEXT Information Revolution,"(1) the fourth Information Revolution.

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Enterprise Physics 101

Enterprise Physics 101

Architecture Is Not a New IdeaThe ideas about Architecture have been around for a long time. In the old days we used to call this kind of thing "Enterprise Analysis." The whole concept of Enterprise Analysis was, or is, you try to understand the Enterprise first, before you try to overlay infrastructure kinds of things against it. 

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Big Architecture for CEOs

Architecture for CEO's

We've been having a great GovEA Conference this year- no shortage of good speakers, exhibits and vendors.

I had the distinct pleasure of introducing my long-time friend and colleague, Scott Bernard who has been the U.S. Federal Chief Enterprise Architect for the last several years.

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Defining Enterprise Architecture: Misunderstandings

Enterprise Architecture Misunderstandings

There presently appears to be a gross misunderstanding about Enterprise Architecture among management... but also among the information community as well. Enterprise Architecture is NOT an Information Technology issue... it is a Management issue. It is likely perceived to be an Information Technology issue as opposed to a Management issue for two reasons:  

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Defining Enterprise Architecture: Economics and the Role of I.T.

Enterprise Architecture Economics IT

So, why is it that an Enterprise needs Information Technology people in their Enterprise in the Information Age?

When I happen to be talking to some IT folks and I raise the question, "Why does the Enterprise need Information Technology people in their Enterprise in the Information Age?" I usually warn them at this point that I haven't had an hour and a half or so to soften them up and I am going to make a radical comment... so don't fall of their chairs when I say this but...

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Defining Enterprise Architecture: The Systems Are the Enterprise

Enterprise Architecture Systems

The Enterprises of today (2015) have never been engineered. They happen... incrementally... over the life of the Enterprise as it grows and requires formalisms... "systems", manual and/or automated.  

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The Origins of Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise Architecture Origins

Here are some samples of seminal works that constitute the origins of Enterprise Architecture:

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The Information Age: Future Shock

Knowledge is Change

The Information AgeHere is a little context around the Information Age. In the interest of time and space, I will try to be brief but there is a key point I have to make. Having made this observation, I will limit my comments about the Information Age to some well-known works by Alvin Toffler, and I will probably break this blog into three separate parts based on the following, so look for those shortly: 

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The Information Age: Powershift

Information Age

In the third blog of three about "The Information Age," the third book Toffler wrote about change was "Powershift." The basic idea in this book is, if you give everyone the same information at the same time, the power will shift outboard. No longer will the power be concentrated in two or three people at the top who know everything, decide everything, control everything... the power will shift outboard. 

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The Information Age: The Third Wave

Waves of Humanity

The second book Toffler wrote about change is "The Third Wave," and this is my 2nd in a series of three blogs. In this book he was contrasting the characteristics of the major "Waves" of humanity:

In the Agricultural Wave, the basic discipline of humanity was Farming.

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The New EA Paradigm 2: Expenses and Assets

Expenses and Assets

Back to the Toyota illustration... now that Toyota has all these parts engineered to be assembled into any Toyota and have pre-fabricated them and have them in inventory before they get any orders... how does Toyota "cost-justify" those parts? They don't have any orders so there is no revenue. They are not making any money... they are not saving any money in the current accounting period. 

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