Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit 2006-Day 3


Blue Cross case study
This case study discussed how Blue Cross structured the Enterprise Architecture program for success:

  • understand the business
    competitive position, external / internal drivers
  • EA program management
    governance, principles, strategies, standards, patterns, maturity assessments
  • Clarity for EA value
    measurement program

The assessment of competitive position focused on: where are you in the market, where do you want to be, what do you need to protect.

The assessment of internal drivers should focus on: mission; strategy (and where IT plays); the complexities of the business. It is important to understand the objectives of the strategies.

External drivers include: government; market; consumer.

In their experience EA value comes from improving: agility; usability of IT resources; innovation in how they operate; information management; reduce risk; cost effectiveness.

Delivering on the promise is demonstrated through a measurement program.

They collect data in three area:

  1. business strategy: focus on business imperatives to achieve the corporate vision;
  2. external drivers: industry trends/key issues/concerns the company faces;
  3. EA program current state: strategy, maturity assessment

The EA value proposition must be traced back to fully formed actionable statements linked to drivers and be measurable and communicated.

Blue Cross has defined two categories of metrics–business focused; internally focused–and three classes of measure: anecdotal; customer satisfaction; operational.

Building the Enterprise Architecture Communications Plan: Scott Bittler
The key driver to having a communications plan is making sure that your message is conveyed; when you don’t communicate people are left to their own imagination.

The purpose of a plan is to link the EA message with audience needs: business and IT. Scott proposed the following table of contents for a communications plan:

  • Purpose and objectives of the EA program
  • Audience and key issues
  • Messages by audience (benefits/value, anticipated resistance, EA creation process, EA governance, EA measures, sponsoring authority)
  • Media (Intranet, meetings)
  • One-on-one meetings
  • Action plan (Expanding participation, responsibilities, Milestones)
  • Feedback process

When asked about the cost of implementing such a plan, Scott observed that most companies he has dealt with feel they are under funding the effort. He suggests 10-15% of EA budget, but could be more or less depending on the level of maturity and integration into the company

When asked about the prime audience of communications, Scott indicated that for EA groups primarily focused on technical issues/objectives, communications will be focused on the development community. However, as the EA program matures and becomes more aligned with providing business value the audience will change to the business.

Conversation with FedEx

FedEx is a company that has grown through the acquisition of several different transportation companies and thus they have a fairly federated environment. They have developed an integration layer to link together the technologies of the acquired companies. Over time they expect to move some “LOB” services into this layer. They will assess which are “enterprise” functions and which are LOB functions.


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