Long Overdue & Lengthy Update

BiZZdesign Architect/Archimate Training 5th-6th August

Delivered by Harmen van den Berg from BiZZdesign, thirteen attendees from LJMU, Roehampton, JISC, NTU, King’s & Cardiff. Generally well-received & seemed v.useful. From LJMU point of view, useful as confirmation that we do appear to have gone down the right route in selecting BiZZdesign etc. Good to understand certain areas better & realise how easily documents can be linked to/included, that can be used for modelling Principles & Programmes/Projects, & very strong on the links between different areas. Now feel like we have a (more) solid basis for producing some tangible outputs.

SURF, Peoplesoft & Enterprise Architecture

I’ve been discussing with Wilbert Kraan (JISC) the fact that at the same time as looking into EA etc, we’re also investigating/planning our move from the Oracle Student System to Oracle Peoplesoft Campus Solutions – I won’t go into the reasons for this move here, suffice to say it’s to do with Oracle’s positioning of their product set within the sector & the best strategy for LJMU in relation to this.

What is interesting/helpful is that there’s a correspondence between Dutch Universities involved in EA/Archimate & those involved in a consortium implementing Campus Solutions. Wilbert has helpfully located a presentation on this at http://www.surffoundation.nl/download/eFramework_SaNS_Hans_Janssen.pdfwhich for me is excellent/useful in a number of ways related both to EA, the e-Framework & Oracle.

In particular it is catalysing my thinking in terms of the next stage of our EA work, after the pilot where we are focussing on Student Administration processes, in terms of using it as an approach to our implementing Campus Solutions. Certainly something to think about.

Brief Update 15th July

BiZZdesign Architect – training now scheduled for 5th/6th August, in the meantime seeing what we can do, Sara Rioux has developed first high-level model using the Archimate language/the tool, which is a good start.
e-Framework – following visit from Phil Nicholls, now clear on Enrolment as the area to work on.
Workshop & Masterclass June 2008 – Conclusions
Very helpful having Bill Olivier there – very useful input. Progress around discussion of additional funding for tools/training & endorsement of the Archimate approach very helpful, as was the suggestion of funding for consultancy support, & progress being made on meeting with SURF/Dutch universities.
From LJMU point of view, came away feeling that our approach had been validated – this approach being (this is only part of it!):
– implement a Governance structure that mandates Architecture development, develops Principles & gives Executive Board level endorsement (in place)- start assimilating artefacts/learn about TOGAF
– select a tool (BiZZdesign Architect)- model the EA across the whole organisation at a high level, to give context/connectivity (already in progress based on our existing strategic plan/business process framework, planning to model in Architect)
– select a burning platform to go into detailed EA & demonstrate business value (Student Recruitment, Development & Support – driven by a high profile 2 year project to transform student administration)
Key next step: get BiZZdesign Architect training late July/early August & start modelling.

Workshop & Masterclass Day 2 26th June – Tools

Session led by Harmen van den Berg from BiZZdesign.
Does early selection of a tool, before achieving good understanding of TOGAF, risk tool defining approach to EA? – not our experience, available tools appear to be as flexible as TOGAF itself.
Important to get away from academic discussions about ‘What is EA?’ & (bearing in mind yesterday’s conclusions) get on with it.
Key use of EA as a decision-making & communication/visualisation tool. Governance = process by which EA is used.
Note IEEE Std 1471 definition of Recommended Practice for Architecture Description of Software-Intensive Systems – very static/mechanical, not quite my understanding of EA/TOGAF definition. “Structure with a vision” – good definition.
Key requirements for EA tools: linking different parts; access to results.
Interesting concept: idea that tool should support linking projects to the Architecture ie project delivering part of it can be linked to that part.
V.useful overview of Archimate & BiZZdesign Architect (even though we’ve already bought it!) -can use to hold goals, principles etc & relate to EA.

Workshop & Masterclass Day 1 25th June

Introductory presentation from Sanda Morar/Infosys.
Start with operating model – ref Weill et al, Enterprise Architecture As Strategy.
Need IT Governance as starting point.
Dependency map of ADM & following Meta model look v.useful, check slides.
Example based on managing student debt. 1. SOW – applications portfolio modernisation; integration. 2. Business processes (high-level) & bits of 4 levels that can complete immediately. BP ‘to be’, other levels ‘as is’, produce ‘to be’. Iterative in/out between different levels, fill in what’s useful, leave what isn’t. Visualised as series of containers to be filled as content available/necessary. Just do it.
Is EA high-level (strategic) or low-level (tactical) – both! – depends what you’re trying to achieve. Also, city planning and architecture.
CBDI journal – check it out.
Toolkits: TOGAF to EA as PRINCE2 is to Project Management.
Definition of the Enterprise – need the Operating Model = definition of what is important to you, not just what you do (purpose).
Great idea = development of an EA animation, like JISC SOA one.

23rd June – Position On Tools

Different issues now that we’ve moved from evaluation through selection to actually needing to use BiZZdesign Architect. We’ve decided that the best way to both get familiar with the tool & get some value for the business out of using it is to focus on an aspect of student administration that needs activity from the point of view of our Student Experience Review, but is small/discrete enough for us to model across all layers of EA – hence we’re looking at Enrolment, which is an area where we also hope to get some outputs for the e-Framework.

18th June – Progress on Principles

Our Information Management Steering Group met & endorsed the current draft of Information Management Principles, whilst recognising that these would/should be dynamic not set in stone. Means that I can get on with the mindbending task of finalising the Architecture Principles in TOGAF format, & hopefully complete this week

10th June – JISC Organisational Support Committee Work Programme Meeting

Alex Hawker, JISC e-Framework Programme Manager, gave a really helpful presentation on the e-Framework which led into a discussion about the EA pilot projects & generated a lot of interest. Interesting that the key area of focus/possible value seems to be in Business Architecture & Business Process modelling; also referenced relevance of EA/SOA work to the Shared Services agenda.

29th May – UCISA Executive Meeting etc

Presentation by David Rose & colleague to UCISA Executive. Noted that Nottingham Trent University, whilst disappointed that didn’t get funded, are continuing anyway & have set up a design authority/are investing. Key issue ref selling EA to senior management noted – part of overall perceived disjunct between IT & Executive. Interesting point from David Harrison, UCISA Chair/Cardiff – that churn in business may introduce new requirements that have to be accommodated but may ‘break’ the architecture. Note approach in ‘Dynamic Enterprise Architecture’ (see ‘What we’re reading’ in Messages…) that recommends an architecture process that explicitly recognises the need to accommodate developments that initially ‘break’ the EA but can be brought inside later – highly recommended read ref alternative approach.

Update 28th May

Have gone ahead with BiZZdesign Architect.

Update 22nd May

Comments etc on progress made since last update:
Tools: we’ve pretty much decided that BIZZdesign Architect is the way to go, approach looks straightforward enough & it’s encouraging that it’s in use by the Dutch Universities so it may be possible to see some real-life HE EA models – so we’re just waiting for someone to come back with costs/how to buy it via Eduserv. Having said that, do still have some concerns – seems to be fine as a repository for/way of joining up models but not necessarily as a single place to keep all EA-related documentation? Have also been called back by Orbus Software about their Microsoft-based tool, so will probably still go ahead with a web demo of that just so we’ve got all the bases covered
E-Framework: advice from Derek Hendy is that the workshop was very helpful & he can now see how LEAP can contribute to the E-Framework, & we involved another member of technical staff here (Shaun Plummer) so we feel we have a couple of people who would be able to develop SUMS in relevant areas. Current thinking is that we would need to go to a level of granularity below the high-level process models we’re looking at for Student Administration (expressed at the level of Enrolment or Coursework Submission) & we’ll develop as we move along.
Architecture Principles: still progressing definition of these & it’s now very close. Good example of where TOGAF has been v.useful – the template forces you to express the rationale behind & implications of principles, rather than just making statements that sound good but mean little or nothing…a process which has had me tearing my hair out, but has proved a very good discipline.
Process mapping: our main busines process analyst, Sara Rioux, has recently attended a 4-day training course in the use of the Triaster Process Mapping tool, & all process models relating to the Student Experience will shortly be converted to the associated format – these will then provide the basis for modelling within BIZZdesign (when we get hold of a copy)

Update 30th April

Just some further thoughts now I have a spare moment & have had time to assimilate some of the thinking that started to emerge at the OG Conference last week.
First, the Conference was more useful than at first appeared – as always, a lot came from between rather than within sessions/presentations.
Key things I picked up:
Governance/selling to the business is very important. A number of presentations seemed to suggest that you sell them on TOGAF – which I think in HE would be a guarantee of putting the business off. You sell the benefits, then do EA as a way of delivering them.
You can’t do it all at once – far better to select a problem/strategically important area & concentrate on that to demonstrate tangible benefits from developing an EA
Don’t split architecture from implementation – people who do first should be involved in second. Similar to the split between strategy & implementation/operations – very easy to do the first if you don’t have to be involved in the second. Something that was at the back of my mind but haven’t heard articulated before. We have people who just do strategy – & we have great difficulty getting anything implemented…
Don’t split IT from Business – the business is IT & vice-versa, constantly referring to the need to align the two things (which I’ve been guilty of) is not helpful. Similar to the lingering HE split between ‘Admin’ & ‘Academic’ computing.
Noted tension between short-term wins & EA development – projects may go ahead to get immediate benefits outside of EA because the latter is taking a long-term view, not there yet. See below. Similar to tension between tactics & strategy.

Followed by key effects on LEAP/progress on same:
Emphasises that the new Governance structure we have in place is essential, so I’m glad we’ve got it!
Confirms that selecting the ‘Student Recruitment, Development & Support’ area is the right way to go, especially with the outcomes of our Student Experience Review (SER) now being public, effectively giving us the ‘to be’ model and an opportunity to use an EA approach in a project that requires practical outcomes. Ref next to last bullet point above – need the EA to mitigate the possible effects of urgent new requirements balsting holes through strategy. People give up saying ‘Are we there yet?’ & decide to go somewhere else, or select a different mode of transport.
Helpful discussion with our Director of Business Excellence yesterday. He sees developing an EA as fully in line with the EFQM Excellence Model & important ref the work referenced in previous bullet point. Also sees no problems sharing any of the work we’ve done/will be doing on our Process Framework/EA/implementing the SER except anything that comes up that might have HR implications.
Been working on our Architecture Principles, derived from the Information Management Principles in final draft through work of our senior IT Governance body, the Information Management Steering Group. Conclusion is – TOGAF approach is very helpful, but it’s hard! Having to define the rationale & implications of a stated principle means you have to work out what it really means – & some of our IM Principles have had me tearing my hair out & will have to now be revisited.
Finally, reviewing the ADM & how we might apply it to our SER work has led me to the view that we would probably only use a part of it – from Prelim through to D. This is the point at which Architecture hands over to implementation – & in our Governance structure this would be where TOGAF hands over to MSP (Managing Successful Programmes, an OGC-supported approach to programme management, see http://www.best-management-practice.com/Programme-Management-MSP/). We’ve had the structures for MSP in place for over 5 years now & it’s fully embedded as the means by which we identify, prioritise & manage major IS/Process programmes (along with all other programmes now) & is part of the new Governance structure – & these are the areas that the ADM phases E to G appear to address. It seems to me that we would not want to invent a new structure to identify/prioritise/manage ‘Architecture’- related projects when we have a perfectly good structure already in place. Good Governance should ensure that TOGAF & MSP join up.

Open Group Conference, Glasgow 20-23 April 2008

Question: why do we want an EA? Simplistic answer – so we can understand what we do/should be doing better & improve the organisation’s ability to use ICTs effectively to deliver whatever it is that we decide that we should be doing. So EA = a mechanism to do this, not the only one, part of a whole bag of things for change management/continuous improvement. Best kept as simple/high-level as possible until dealing with something that we want to take from as is to to be. Check out Dynamic Enterprise Architecture – don’t do detailed architecture until need to deliver something. Ref ”Dynamic Architecture: How to Make It Work” (Hardcover) by Roel Wagter (Author), Martin van den Berg (Author), Joost Luijpers (Author), Marlies van Steenbergen (Author)

Fighting SOA Fatigue with Effective EAChris Howard, VP and Director, Executive Advisory Program, Burton Group
Excellent presentation – could conceivably run it for our Executive Board & get a result.
Executive management care about results/benefits, not how you get them.
If EA simply replicates what we already do (albeit more elegantly) then what is the point. Evidence of the tribal yawn.
Split between business & IT is an unfortunate myth – yes! someone has said it. The alignment yawn. IT department must think of itself as part of the business (because it is!) to be successful. The Clock of the Long Now/Brand.
Like Weill etc book – strategy prescribes operational model, EA formalises, guides IT infrastructure which realises EA.
Simplicity = managed complexity.
The proper goal of governance is to represent the interests of the future in the present (Thurow).

Operationalizing SOA Tony Carrato, WW Chief Operations Architect, EIS SOA Advanced Technology, IBM, USA
If you have to talk to Executive Management about development methodologies, something is badly wrong.

Before proceedings start, a question – why is the incidental music sometimes the theme from Twin Peaks? Is it to signal that we’re entering some strange parallel universe, in many ways similar to our own, but still very different…

Socialisation & Syndication – The Ignored Half of Architecture (Murat Erder, Deloitte)
The overall objective is to make architects (architecture) be seen as part of the organisation, not a separate entity. (ref. IT v. business)
Very good point – real world architects (ref Frank Gehry) involved in marketing & execution. So skillset = architecture, project/programme management, change management. Is the separation of vision/strategy/planning from execution one of the reasons why HEIs don’t achieve change objectives? Requires a combination of marketing & governance focussed techniques.
Establishing an ongoing mechanism for tracking benefits is key to success – MSP again.
‘Plateaux’ approach – each with theme – similar to tranche/phase in MSP. So – LJMU first theme = ‘Student Experience’?
An EA Career Development Program Based on TOGAF & ITAC (Paul van de Merwe, Real IRM)
Architecture roles/building an Architecture Practise – no specific roles designated at LJMU, something we need to look into. Will not be easy to get resource – part of restructuring of Computing & Information Services?

What Top Architects & Specialists Have In Common (Gerard Coes, Capgemini)
What’s the difference between an IT person & a terrorist? With a terrorist, you can negotiate. Terrorist: low income, high impact; IT person, high income, low impact.
Again, need project, people & business skills.

Dealing With People You Can’t Stand (Sheila Thorne, IBM)
Great fun, which is something…but still essentially an application of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
Are you dealing with a dog? Stop acting surprised, stop expecting a different result, lower your standards.
The No person – passive/task-focussed. Fights a never-ending battle for futility, hopelessness & despair.
I create my own meaning from an event that has occurred – own meaning obscures reality. Avatar = hero.
Let go of the drama/stop playing the role/understand position versus interest. What do you really want?

Track B – Enterprise Architecture Development
Bruce Miner, QRS – Project Architecture Maturity Model. ”Information Technology is no longer a business resource, it’s the business environment”.
IBM – Architecture & Service Management. Unfortunately, my brain doesn’t work fast enough…
Wipro – Governance Without Bureaucracy.

Stream B4: EA Modelling & Tools
BIZZdesign/Archimate. High-level modelling within domain + modelling relations between domains. BIZZdesign Architect tool? Looks pretty good -another one to check out. May end up with evaluation overkill – stick to Telelogic System Architect, Oracle BPA, Orbus iServer for EA, & BIZZdesign Architect. Latter attractive if Archimate is to be endorsed by the Open Group – but other products cover Archimate as well.

Getronics – nearest yet to seeing what an EA might look like.

Architecture as an Enabler for Sustainability (Tom Urquhart/PwC)
Note: heavy dependency on printing in HE (eg coursework processes); can this be addressed via EA? Architecture principles?
Strategic Steps in EA – Transforming ICT In Education (Sarah Porter, JISC)
Key point for JISC: you have people who know they need an EA & want to know how to do it, & people who don’t know or think they don’t need an EA, & hence have no interest in knowing how to do it. Most of HE in former camp? Encountered similar situation working with ICL consultants on Management Development at Edge Hill in the ‘90s: 2 classes of managers: people who know they are/want to be managers, know what it means, & want to do it better; people who don’t know they are/don’t want to be managers, don’t know or agree with what it means, & hence don’t even understand what it is they need to do better. First group need training; second group need behavioural change/change management.

Business Analysis & Enterprise Architecture(Dave van Gelder/Capgemini)
Like the IT jungle represented as Underground map.
What is relationship between business analyst & business architect? Need standardisation on business analysis to support EA?
Note definition of an Enterprise: a group of people who work together in a structured manner within a framework of regulations, rules or other agreements to achieve one or more common objectives. So, is a University an Enterprise? Conclusion must be yes ref. Learning,Teaching, Research mission.

Architecting the Sun (Daniel Berg, Sun)
Sun use TOGAF internally, 130 certified TOGAF practitioners.
Note: does TOGAF certification actually mean anything ie does it mean certified person can ‘do’ the ADM?
Sun’s Architecture Principles – check them out after Conference.
Web 2.0 – the user is the developer etc – OK, but will be some time before enterprise systems etc are superseded.
MySQL as database of choice? – but then, Sun have just acquired it…

Stream A1 – Business Driven SOA
Again & immediately, major emphasis on Governance.
Stakeholders have to be Business & IT – note: isn’t it about time that we just talked about ‘the business’, all this talk about ‘aligning IT & the Business’ perpetuates the notion that IT is separate which is a very unhelpful division for now & particularly in future. Rather like the unfortunately persistent division between ‘admin’ & ‘academic’ in our sector – which from a learner-focussed point of view is nonsensical, given that your average student doesn’t get up in the morning & think ‘ooh, I’ll go & do some admin’ or ‘now it’s time for some learning’. They just do what they need to do, without meaningless categorisation.
Lot about business processes – OK but what is peculiar to either SOA or the Open Group?
To (for!) my mind, far too technical. IBM Websphere/Tensor model – bit of a supplier presence…

Stream A2: SOA & TOGAF
Much better!
Governance again. Interesting points ref granularity for SOA – too high-level & won’t work, too low-level & isn’t architecture.
Business process models: mandatory, if you aren’t developing them, don’t bother doing SOA.
Application architecture = service architecture?
Homford Associates – good diagram mapping SOA to TOGAF.
Tom Graves/Tetradian – not about IT, about time someone said it – but then I found what followed completely incomprehensible & frankly from a pedagogical point of view if he has to make it that obscure then maybe he just shouldn’t bother…but then maybe it’s just me being thick/the time of day…
Introduction – Sunday 20th
Brief(ish) discussion with Open Group & JISC/Techwatch/CETIS people, useful in setting agenda/raising some issues – some key points:
– maturity of sector- supplier engagement/pricing- EA not suited to HE? HE not interested in SOA?- SOA examples = single vendor, not ‘proper’ SOA – would dispute this, ref UCISA CISG 2007 Conference debate on SOA v.ERP: not mutually exclusive- noted that Open Group may be ‘adopting’ Archimate – keep an eye on this, may influence tool selection- raised the issue of not yet seeing a ‘worked-example’, noted issues with companies who’d traversed the ADM, got value, & wouldn’t necessarily want to share with competitors
Next: ‘You’ve Downloaded TOGAF, Now What?’ (Sanda Morar, Senior Technical Architect, InfoSys)
Good diagrams/slides illustrating the business case. Selling it – find a strategic programme that depends on it.
Note: modelled using Visio & UML; “if you have a tool it’s fine”.

TOGAF Training April 8-10 2008

Final comments (after leaving towards end of Day Three)

There was an awful lot to cover in the time

For me, too much time was spent on the what, why & generic business/management techniques & not enough on the detailed TOGAF-specific stuff

As a result really important/complex stuff like the Application Systems and Data Architecture & TRMs wasn’t covered in enought detail, & I can’t imagine that the III-RM & Technology Architecture was given adequate coverage either although I had to leave before we got that far

Would feel more confident with TOGAF if I’d seen an actual worked example – which I still haven’t

So whilst I feel better-informed, I wouldn’t say I now know how to perform an iteration of the ADM – although I guess that really you just have to try it

Tools for Architecture Development – pretty good, helpful, at least some pointers to various tools & how good/comprehensive/easy to use they might be. Still problem of lack of time to evaluate tools (there are quite a few to choose from) when we need to be using a selected tool to create/document architectures/repositories – & presentation concentrating mostly on how to select a tool…

Whistle-stop tour of Information Systems Architecture – good but lot of detail in short period of time, very non-proscriptive which is good but leaves a lot of choice.

Governance & principles. Governance – emphasis on risk/control/compliance, as opposed to Weill/Ross emphasis on encouraging desirable behaviour in the use of IT ie on people. Also clearly major change management job in HE as line of business managers (School Directors?) in theory need to understand/engage. All down to whether Governance is about the behaviour of people rather than control – former = all about getting people to perform efficiently & effectively in support of the business, must be right.

Huge amount of structure/process just around TOGAF Governance let alone the rest – may be too big for HEI, becoming reminiscent of PRINCE2 & overheads of doing it all, perhaps ‘TOGAF-lite’ is needed.

Note: a University would be quite capable of agonising for years over the ‘right’ Governance structure – bearing in mind the impossibility of getting it right, better to select something that looks practical and go with it, changing along the way as necessary.

Principles & preliminary phase: continuing emphasis on promoting/engaging senior management and line-of-business management – but engagement will be with the objectives/benefits of TOGAF, not with the concept/process.

Good session on principles/development of same, getting more practical now – related syndicate exercise on governance/principles stimulated some useful discussion. Nice to see practical examples of TOGAF outputs in relation to principles – how to actually do something.

Views & viewpoints – good from point of view of addressing stakeholder concerns.

Scoping the Architecture – very useful/practical. LJMU scoping seems OK.

First sessions – more about the benefits, drivers, business case etc – fine, but waiting to get on with the how rather than the what & why…very good/professionally run, & good representation from pilot sites & other invited institutions. Bit too much selling TOGAF perhaps? & feel that personally I’ve done so much background research that this is mostly nothing new – already being sold on the concepts, & already having sold it within LJMU. From JISC point of view, lessons to be learned – key to selling within LJMU was selling it in english/selling the business benefits/not talking about SOA/EA too much, let alone TOGAF. On top of which Senior Management need it all on one page.

Question: does TOGAF increase the probability of Information Systems/Technology delivering value to the business? & are there any metrics for this…

Interesting discussion about how TOGAF can incorporate emergent/disruptive business models & technologies – probably more about Governance/decision-making that sits around it to mitigate the risks of being trapped in an outdated architecture. Not convinced by argument that TOGAF can deal with this – need to incorporate ‘white space’ in architecture thinking. Have to have architecture flexible enough that can deal with emergent technologies/models that don’t fit the current architecture but are the right thing to do. Also have to build in need to be responsive – will the framework facilitate this or create inertia?

Risk of seeing EA/TOGAF as panacea? Some discussion about problems caused by business units operating in silos seemed to be something to be resolved by good business process management rather than EA.

Good sessions on Enterprise Continuum & overview of TOGAF 8 components -but reemphasised the need for a comprehensive EA tool.

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