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Enterprise Architecture: Why aren’t more organizations moving from good to great?

by James McGovern  |  April 7, 2017  |  Submit a Comment

Gartner publishes thought provoking research on the discipline of enterprise architecture. We aid our clients in developing their vision to stage planning a Business-Outcome-Driven Enterprise Architecture. We even provide a toolkit to help determine your business scope and focus. This begs the question, why aren’t we seeing more organizations with high levels of enterprise architecture maturity?

I have a theory that I would like you to help me prove or disprove. Before joining Gartner, I was an Enterprise Architect for several Fortune 100 enterprises. Each one of these enterprises had more than a few things in common that I think may get at the crux of the issue.

As an Enterprise Architect, I knew that I had a fiduciary duty to ensure delivery of better business outcomes. I followed the wonderful guidance that Gartner provided most of the time. Yes, I said most. So, what was I doing at all of those other times? I will classify the time I spent on working on non-strategic activities for purposes of classification as compensating behavior.

For me, the compensating behaviors came in a few flavors. Who do you think gets called in a culture of IT offshoring when there is a production outage in a Java application and the offshore “talent” is just too green to know what to do? Was it a blessing or a curse that I just happen to be a rock star Java developer as well?

As an Enterprise Architect, I took pride in not just interacting with the business but in actually knowing the business more than majority of my IT brethren. Again, IT offshoring reduced the headcount of IT employees that knew the business and those who have been around the organizations their entire career.  The weight of organizational knowledge of IT ecosystems in many organizations fall on the enterprise architecture team in a manner that isn’t acknowledged in either job descriptions, RACI diagrams or even at annual performance review time.

I don’t think my career experiences are radically different from what other Enterprise Architecture practitioners have also experienced. Therefore, I would like to collect a mutually-exclusive, completely exhaustive list of compensating behaviors that others are seeing and/or experiencing such that as a Gartner analyst, I can advise and coach at another level on how to move enterprise architecture teams from good to great.

What you are seeing when it comes to compensating behaviors?

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Category: enterprise-architecture  lean-thinking  

James McGovern
Research Director
1 years at Gartner
28 years IT Industry

James McGovern is a Research Director responsible for conducting research in the Enterprise Architecture and Technology Innovation areas. James is specifically focused on how organizations can use business-outcome-driven EA to respond to disruptive trends and leverage technology to deliver successful business outcomes. Read Full Bio

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