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Why Enterprise Architecture recipes

Published on 17 August 14
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A recipe would help one take advantage of the experience and other previous work. Recipes deliver predictable and comparable results faster and reduce the risks and costs of experimentation. They deliver to expectations.

Cooking, for instance, needs recipes because people want to know what they are about to eat, no surprises there. Because people want edible outcomes rather than experiments.

Recipes have been used since the dawn of time to eliminate the need to experiment and re-invent. They often embed lessons learnt. That's why we need cookbooks. Celebrity cooks are good cooks and often trainers. Celebrity cooks are about socializing while we eat, as well.

Same with EA. An EA architect that starts to experiment with the delivery of an EA in a company, does that at own peril. The run of the mill architect needs an EA framework.

But because there is so far no single definition of EA and no clear scope, various professionals are tempted to define EA to their convenience either as strategic "glue", business model... or stories to tell... and only rarely as what it is, an architecture, that is an integrated enterprise blueprint.

Not every architect is keen to re-invent though his own way through the EA. In fact, when each and everyone tries that on his own, they usually fail. EA as a whole fails as such, while customers suffer.

That's why we need EA frameworks. To deliver credibility and predictability. To save costs. To reduce risks.

Unfortunately, most frameworks are different in nature, scope and deliverables. Zachman is an ontology (according to the man), that is a definition of the components and relationships in a domain. It does not specify any delivery. In fact it is so general that EA is just a particular case. If you fill in the matrix you still get out a matrix which is not an EA.

TOGAF is mainly a development process plus a collection of tools. That is, it is not a recipe in that you put your ingredients in and then follow the cooking process to get the same or a similar dish. Most of the time the outcomes are and look different and are seldom consumable by our end customers.

Archimate is mostly a metamodel,⦠DODAF is an OO methodology at heart⦠Current frameworks have very little in common. Besides, most are incomplete: either ontologies, processes, metamodels...

These approaches are not even frameworks in the true sense, in that they are not recipes where you put the ingredients in and follow the cooking process to get the saute.

We need a proper EA framework to reduce the diversity of definitions, scope and outcomes and deliver EA to expectations each and every time.


A recipe would help one take advantage of the experience and other previous work. Recipes deliver predictable and comparable results faster and reduce the risks and costs of experimentation. They deliver to expectations.

Cooking, for instance, needs recipes because people want to know what they are about to eat, no surprises there. Because people want edible outcomes rather than experiments.

Recipes have been used since the dawn of time to eliminate the need to experiment and re-invent. They often embed lessons learnt. That's why we need cookbooks. Celebrity cooks are good cooks and often trainers. Celebrity cooks are about socializing while we eat, as well.

Same with EA. An EA architect that starts to experiment with the delivery of an EA in a company, does that at own peril. The run of the mill architect needs an EA framework.

But because there is so far no single definition of EA and no clear scope, various professionals are tempted to define EA to their convenience either as strategic "glue", business model... or stories to tell... and only rarely as what it is, an architecture, that is an integrated enterprise blueprint.

Not every architect is keen to re-invent though his own way through the EA. In fact, when each and everyone tries that on his own, they usually fail. EA as a whole fails as such, while customers suffer.

That's why we need EA frameworks. To deliver credibility and predictability. To save costs. To reduce risks.

Unfortunately, most frameworks are different in nature, scope and deliverables. Zachman is an ontology (according to the man), that is a definition of the components and relationships in a domain. It does not specify any delivery. In fact it is so general that EA is just a particular case. If you fill in the matrix you still get out a matrix which is not an EA.

TOGAF is mainly a development process plus a collection of tools. That is, it is not a recipe in that you put your ingredients in and then follow the cooking process to get the same or a similar dish. Most of the time the outcomes are and look different and are seldom consumable by our end customers.

Archimate is mostly a metamodel,⦠DODAF is an OO methodology at heart⦠Current frameworks have very little in common. Besides, most are incomplete: either ontologies, processes, metamodels...

These approaches are not even frameworks in the true sense, in that they are not recipes where you put the ingredients in and follow the cooking process to get the saute.

We need a proper EA framework to reduce the diversity of definitions, scope and outcomes and deliver EA to expectations each and every time.

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