Architecture & Process keynote: Edward Lewis

I like coming to smaller conferences once in a while: although I usually have to pay my own way to get here, the networking tends to be much more real than at a larger one. In the 10 minutes before the keynote started this morning, I chatted with five people who I know, and had one complete stranger introduce himself to me and tell me that he reads my blog. Also, since this conference is focused on enterprise architecture and process, there will be a few people around who appreciate why I call this blog Column 2 (think Zachman).

To get my complaints in early: no wifi (as Michael zur Muehlen was quick to tell me) and no tea. And since this is DC, we start at 8am. Other than that, everything’s good.

Edward Lewis, who was the first CIO of the US federal government, is giving the opening keynote, discussing transformation for the 21st century by tapping the hidden potential of enterprise architecture. He started with how many organizations are seriously out of date in how they operate, and gave a list of "great reasons" not to use enterprise architecture: too complicated, too much change, takes too long, costs too much. However, business wants results in term of organizational and technological change, and Lewis sees four major areas of focus for visionary organizations:

  • Not just supply chains: global supply and demand chains that are more complex, synchronized and focused on all processes, activities and technologies
  • Strategic partner relationship management for seamless interoperability
  • High-performing organizations: people and culture are the most important factors
  • Achieving the "perfect order" of total business-wide integration versus the "perfect storm"

He stressed the importance of the global supply chain: not just what you’re doing, but what your supply chain partners are doing that contribute to the timely, accurate and continuous flow of your product/service, information and revenue.

He believes that enterprise architecture has a key role in achieving the breakthrough performance required for visionary organizations, by supporting strategic thinking and planning, and allowing the alignment and integration of people and culture with the business and IT strategies, organizational structure, processes and technologies.

EA is the strategic configuration of business and information resources, a type of strategic decision-making framework.

His ten critical success factors:

  • Strong executive leadership: support, commitment and involvement
  • Dynamic business and IT strategic planning environment: coordinated, integrated, flexible, long-term strategic focus
  • Formal business and IT infrastructure: framework, policies, standards, methods and tools
  • Integration architecture models: business plan, organization, data, applications, technology
  • Dynamic business and IT processes: macro and micro, internal and external
  • Use information and knowledge effectively: all aspects of data and information
  • Use information technology effectively: enterprise-wide, fully integrated
  • Use dynamic implementation and migration plan: well-defined projects
  • Have an innovative culture and access to skilled individuals: education and training, teamwork, culture and organizational learning
  • Have an effective change management environment: integrating change programs, high-performing organization

He boils this all down to three factors: people, culture and leadership.

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