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Agile EA: Lessons from Making an Italian Sauce

Agile EA ITSD
13680
1

I come from an Italian heritage and am very proud to be part of a “foodie” family. Some people simply eat for the sake of eating. For my family, meals are an elaborate affair! And no Sunday would be complete without the smell of a fresh red sauce and basil overpowering your senses and making your stomach grumble as you eagerly wait for the family to surround the dinner table. When I make a sauce, I have my basic ingredients that are needed to make it a staple and identifiable meal. Of course, once I’ve covered the basics, I make adjustments to accommodate my own tastes… a little extra basil, some garlic, etc.

One day I was making the sauce and it occurred to me, how I go about making this meal is very similar to how I approach my clients in regards to an enterprise architecture pilot. Both take an agile approach.

When a client embarks on creating a mature EA practice, there are items that are needed to determine a structured approach: 

  • Defining your Business Architecture: Being able to organize your business processes and day to day operations in a strategic sense that aligns with the companies objectives. 
  • Identifying your Data Architecture: Focusing on information that is being generated and consumed by the business.
  • Describing your Application Architecture: Identifying what application resources the company currently has available and what functionalities these IT resources deliver in support of the business capabilities. 
  • Identifying, Aligning and Optimizing Your Technology Infrastructure: Determining what technology infrastructure is in place to host your applications.

Now these items will not happen overnight. And by no means will it be perfect the first time through. But it takes time, practice, patience and testing. So this is where agile comes in…

It’s identifying the proper foundation to allow you to set off in the right direction. Once you are stable, you start to add your own characteristics to allow the practice of enterprise architecture to best fit your organization’s needs. You add that garlic, basil, red pepper to make that sauce your own. Bring in the ingredients of an ideal governance practice, modeling best practices, and industry terminology that aligns with your organization’s communication.

Finally, it’s all about tasting it and making it better before you serve it. Understand what stakeholders and users are seeking in determining a successful enterprise architecture practice. Have them be a part of the “tasting” and have them add suggestions. Let them identify what works and what does not before serving it to the masses. And once you’ve perfected your own unique enterprise architecture method, everyone will want a seat at the table! Bon appetite! 

13680
1
Comment
Senior Member

I come from an Italian heritage and am very proud to be part of a “foodie” family. Some people simply eat for the sake of eating. For my family, meals are an elaborate affair! And no Sunday would be complete without the smell of a fresh red sauce and basil overpowering your senses and making your stomach grumble as you eagerly wait for the family to surround the dinner table. When I make a sauce, I have my basic ingredients that are needed to make it a staple and identifiable meal. Of course, once I’ve covered the basics, I make adjustments to accommodate my own tastes… a little extra basil, some garlic, etc.

One day I was making the sauce and it occurred to me, how I go about making this meal is very similar to how I approach my clients in regards to an enterprise architecture pilot. Both take an agile approach.

When a client embarks on creating a mature EA practice, there are items that are needed to determine a structured approach: 

  • Defining your Business Architecture: Being able to organize your business processes and day to day operations in a strategic sense that aligns with the companies objectives. 
  • Identifying your Data Architecture: Focusing on information that is being generated and consumed by the business.
  • Describing your Application Architecture: Identifying what application resources the company currently has available and what functionalities these IT resources deliver in support of the business capabilities. 
  • Identifying, Aligning and Optimizing Your Technology Infrastructure: Determining what technology infrastructure is in place to host your applications.

Now these items will not happen overnight. And by no means will it be perfect the first time through. But it takes time, practice, patience and testing. So this is where agile comes in…

It’s identifying the proper foundation to allow you to set off in the right direction. Once you are stable, you start to add your own characteristics to allow the practice of enterprise architecture to best fit your organization’s needs. You add that garlic, basil, red pepper to make that sauce your own. Bring in the ingredients of an ideal governance practice, modeling best practices, and industry terminology that aligns with your organization’s communication.

Finally, it’s all about tasting it and making it better before you serve it. Understand what stakeholders and users are seeking in determining a successful enterprise architecture practice. Have them be a part of the “tasting” and have them add suggestions. Let them identify what works and what does not before serving it to the masses. And once you’ve perfected your own unique enterprise architecture method, everyone will want a seat at the table! Bon appetite! 

1 Comment
Philippe BONNEVILLE
Not applicable

a nice and right metaphor. I certainly reuse that with a French recipe.