One way I explain the essence of EA value, when pressed to do so, is that it can provide for better-informed decisions faster. Of course, for this to occur, the effective scoping of an EA initiative is critical to clarify what decisions need to be made about what transformative journey. With those in mind, one can generate a list of questions that must be answered to enable such decision making. In EA, modeling is a critical analytical, collaborative, and communication enabler.  In a recent paper from The Open Group, “A Practical Approach to Application Portfolio Consolidation using the TOGAF® Standard,” a list of relevant questions is provided, as well as a list of recommended architecture models to be used in working with the key stakeholders.
As is noted in the paper, “Modeling supports our understanding of the Baseline Architecture and how it needs to change to meet the Architecture Vision to achieve the Target Architecture.” Even this list of elementary questions will help address a challenge of application consolidation:
  • What kinds of things do we have, or do we need?
  • Where are these things located, or need to be located?
  • How do these things interact with other things, or need to interact?
  • How are these things structured/composed, or need to be structured/composed?
  • On what do these things have dependencies?
  • How are these things managed, or need to be managed?
  • How are these things secured, or need to be secured?
  • How do we transition these things to other things?
In the same paper, an excellent list of recommended viewpoints is provided:
Application Portfolio
Identifies the applications in the landscape
Information Usage
Service Catalog
Application Cooperation
Describes how applications support business activity
Service Usage
Application Structure
Describes the composition of applications
Service Composition
Application Behavior
Describes the interactions between applications
Service Realization
Application Information
Describes the information produced/consumed by applications
Service Interaction
Application Costs
Itemizes the costs for running and maintaining applications
Component Interaction
Alternative Target Application Architectures
Describes any alternative Target Application Architectures identified, the criteria used to determine the alternatives, along with trade-off analysis.
Component Catalog
Application Alternative
Component Usage
Trade-off Analysis
Component Lifecycle
Application Lifecycle
Itemizes lifecycle state for applications
Component Cost
Technology Cooperation
Describes how technologies support applications
Technology Portfolio
Identifies the technologies in the landscape
Component Composition
Component Interaction
Component Interaction
In conclusion, providing wide-ranging decision support for business transformation and enablement is fundamental to EA and skills for scoping and then modeling is critical.
Authored by Dr. Steve Else, Chief Architect & Principal Instructor


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