The Beginning

As a new team of Enterprise Architects, our first task was to get to grips with what Enterprise Architecture (EA) actually means. There are millions of pages on the Web that will give you various flavours of EA, what to do and where to start. It was evident that we needed a consistent plan and some expertise in the area. To help, we chose Gartner as our consultants and joined their EA programme. This provides us with not only expert research and analysis, but also support from one of the Analysts, allowing us to move at our pace, but towards a tried and tested goal.

Now we have a plan, we are working through the various documents we need to produce. Our first challenge was the EA Charter – this has now been written and has been ratified by our Governance process. Then came the Common Requirements Vision – again this has been done and agreed.

Next on the list are the Principles – the over-arching principles for the Enterprise Architecture. To do this we have started to engage actively with the business, and each Enterprise Architect is now linked with a specific Directorate and member of the Governance group. This has brought many benefits. This close liaison has allowed us to “sanity check” our thinking – making sure what we think the business needs is indeed what the business needs, and to shape the priorities for the future vision. Now we have to agree with them the principles that will guide us towards that vision. It is a challenge – but an immensely rewarding one.

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