Different Management Perspectives

Management perceives of architecture in many different ways. As skeptical architects, we believe architecture will not be successful and useful in business as long as the perception continues. Unfortunately, benefits and outcomes of efforts in enterprise-level architecture are difficult to show immediately. Since they are not obvious to senior management, those managers do not perceive its value. Hence, a different approach may be needed to change this perspective. In reality, enterprise architecture is fundamentally about the organization's structure.

The value to management is best described and realized by applying models in enterprise architecture to anticipate the impact of changes in business structure or to assess damage after rapid changes in the business environment occur that require rapid restructuring. Changes in the business environment such as competition, economic downturns, social changes and new technology can alter the enterprise structure, often dramatically. Enterprise architecture can help the enterprise respond to these changes. A set of interconnected architectures developed over time, as we described in our most recent article, is most useful for assessing changes.

We provide here an example of assessing change considering the following elements: the state of business needs and requirements, the utilization of an architectural framework, the identification of sets of architectural contexts and, finally, the implications of architectural rendering.

Business Needs and Requirements

Businesses often have conditions that constrain the way they have to operate, governmental, state or local regulations, for example, which places demands on a business process. Some certain items are needed or are necessary to complete the process (i.e., raw materials; information; or certain prescribed process steps, tasks and/or actions). Describing the business need entails narratives or perspectives that are interrelated with various business conditions, which provides the business context. Such descriptions respond to these six basic interrogatives: who, what, when, where, how and why. Comments on the perceptions follow.

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Frank Kowalkowski
Author: Frank KowalkowskiWebsite: http://www.knowledgebiz.com
President and CEO of Knowledge Consultants, Inc

Frank Kowalkowski is President and CEO of Knowledge Consultants, Inc.

He has over 30 years of management and consulting experience in manufacturing, distribution, banking, insurance and financial services as well as the public sector. He has been involved with wide range of projects that include business analysis, process management, e-commerce, business performance measurement, business and competitive intelligence, knowledge management, and supply chain management.

In addition to being a keynote speaker at international conferences as well as a conference chair, he has written numerous papers and spoken at conferences on a variety of subjects such as business performance management, technology forecasting, management disciplines, process analytics and management and various aspect of enterprise analysis. He is the author of a 1996 book on Enterprise Analysis (Prentice – Hall, ISBN 0-13-282-3365) and over 70 papers.

He has consulted with Fortune's magazine 100 companies.

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