Update 9th September – Techwatch Meeting

Very helpful visit from Paul Anderson/Gaynor Backhouse from Techwatch – as always, talking through the background to the project, lessons learned, etc, helps to focus our own thoughts.
Again becoming clearer that our approach to EA is essentially evolutionary & facilitative ie it will develop as business problems/developments arise that EA can help with (see previous update below) & is intended to support business change initiatives rather than become a control mechanism for architectural domination! Whilst we may eventually end-up with a comprehensive EA, it is the process of thinking about/working through architectures that is important, rather than having a nice diagram with a lot of boxes.
Other thoughts:
– the well-embedded Development Programme and the more recently introduced Governance structure are key to positioning us for EA development. The former provides the coordinated IS development/change management environment where EA can be introduced as a supporting approach, & the latter gives EA a home & a way in to Senior Management
– having said that, putting a Governance structure in place is the easy bit; what matters is what you do with it – & we have significant work to do in communicating about Governance, eg we have agreed a set of Information Management principles that should be the guiding light for information management across LJMU, but this won’t achieve much if we don’t tell anyone about it
– we need to address the issues around lack of a specific EA resource other than that associated with the JISC project; if the approach is to be embedded then it needs to have a home
– approach to TOGAF/EA is like that with Programme/Project Management: as we work through the project we’ll take the bits that are useful/add value, but feel no need to adopt the whole thing lock stock & barrel & put huge effort into producing a comprehensive EA model (which will change anyway)
– our views ref EA/TOGAF/the Open Group have inevitably changed as the project has progressed. Working sequentially through the TOGAF cycle no longer makes sense – it’s more a case of doing the whole thing across a vertical slice of the organisation. EA is a tool not a destination. Open Group membership? – may or may not be a good thing. Given that you can download TOGAF & attend the conferences, then if you don’t want to invest a lot of time in contributing to the development of the model, it’s hard to see what benefit is gained for what is a relatively high membership fee. If an HE SIG appears, views may change.

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