Defining EA as a set of services are a new way to describe what EA does and what the outcome or result or deliverable of EA activity will be. Using the service term certainly gets a useful clarifying discussion going about who the consumer and provider are, and what is provided by the provider to the consumer. This is a fresh way to think through what EA is (particularly if you ask some of your EA consumers to participate in the definition exercise!), rather than just describing it as a set of processes.
Gartner’s starter kit for EA Services (Gartner clients can read about this more here: http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?id=757437) starts with these 5:
- EA Creation
- EA Consulting
- EA Compliance
- EA Communication
- EA Research
Other people I’ve talked with this about like these but suggest adding Lab and Reporting to this list. But, if you have too many, you’ve defeated the purpose! Maybe indeed 5 is a realistic limit to the base list.
The simplest attributes or metadata I’ve started with in planning these are these attributes (which I have in a table in the note referenced above):
- name (including alternate names)
- EA team roles
- SME roles (subject matter experts — EA people do not alone provide all the horsepower)
Basically, this is: what do I get (consumer) and what do I do and produce (provider). I do actually find the consumer / provider thinking VERY useful in making things clearer to key stakeholders. This is what makes many clients move from just a process view of EA to a service view of EA.
In discussing this with clients, I’ve found many that are thinking the same way. For example, Todd Biske here: http://www.biske.com/blog/?p=653. He’s also suggested (http://www.biske.com/blog/?p=655) an addition to the attribute list: trigger. Some EA services are provided on request (consulting), while others are provided on a more event oriented (and not by human request) way: scheduled refreshes and/or process calls. Maybe though, all of these are events (requests) of one kind or another — some human (PM requests EA consulting), some machine (all the new projects have been documented, so get them into the EA repository), some long running repeated requests (CIO: give us these reports regularly), some immediate (CIO: tell me about why we need EA again?). So, is this a good add to the EA service attribute list?
What are your EA Services?