2009 – A Year of EA Books

If you are into EA-books, you can look forward to 2009. There will be at least three books you must read.

cmbook

We are working hard on getting our book ready for publication. There is still no set date for publication/availability, but we still say ‘early 2009’, and will self-publish the book to speed up the publishing.

Having many contributers, and four strong-willed editors, would have been a challenge on any book project, but since we write about coherency, we have been determined to create a coherent book, and have had many and long discussions in the editor team and with contributors.

If you have read our JEA article, you will have an idea about how we think conherency management. In the book, we have invited world-leading enterprise architects to write up their stories and thoughts about coherency management and enterprise architecture, and have also taken another step in fleshing out our own perspectives on how coherency management should be practised.

Now, shamelessly having promoted my own work first, let me turn to the two other 2009-books you cannot miss. In fact, both of these are available from 1st January, and both can be ordered now.

hinssenFirst one is Business/IT Fusion (book website) by Peter Hinssen. Subtitled “How to move beyond alignment and transform IT in your organization: A practical guide to a new IT,” and nicely bound and printed on glossy and square paper, this book is targeted at practitioners, in both business and IT, and especially the CIO.

The book “provides a roadmap for the journey to completely rethink IT, and transform IT into something radically new”, Hinssen writes, and he argues that it’s time for IT 2.0. Hinssen believes that we should not just be concerned with ‘aligning business and IT’, but that we should be busy integrating IT into the business.

At 276 pages, Hinssen presents the reader with chapters with titles such as: The new CIO: from Robin to Batman; The marketing of IT; Intelligent governance: beyond IT governance; and, Architects of Change: using scenario planning in IT. For a practitioner-oriented book, we get surprisingly much “theory”, with references and all, to the extent that I will have no problems recommending this book in academic circles and to my students. In fact, Hinssens book should be read by all students who like the Ross/Weill/Robertson approach to EA.

optlandetal

But speaking of students, there is a new EA-textbook on the market now: Enterprise Architecture: Creating Value by Informed Governance by Martin Op ’t Land, Erik Proper, Maarten Waage, Jeroen Cloo, and Claudia Steghuis. These are all Capgemini consultants, but also recognised university affiliates in the Netherlands.

The book was created in an effort to develop a textbook for one of the key courses of a Master of Enterprise Architecture program in the Netherlands. At only 145 pages, it is a quite condensed introduction to EA, and I’m not sure how newcomers will take it.

The authors see the role of enterprise architecture as an instrument for governance, and identify seven key applications for enterprise architecture: situation description, strategic direction, gap analysis, tactical planning, operational planning, selection of partial solutions, and solution architecture, enabling informed governance.

Enterprise architecting is seen as a process involving a dashboard giving stakeholders indicators and controls allowing the gain insight into the current state of enterprise, alternatives for the future, as well as the performance of the transformation process(es), and to steer/direct these transformations.

The authors define EA as a “coherent set of descriptions, covering a regulations-oriented, design-oriented, and patterns-oriented perspective on an enterprise, which provides indicators and controls that enable the informed governance of the enterprise’s evolution and success”.

I am not sure I agree with this definition. Strictly speaking, EA is a practice, not just a set of documents. But I do like some of the elements they bring to the table.

As a textbook, I think the authors have made some unfortunate pedagogical choices. Using Pizzeria “Perla del Nord” as the through-running case is a very unenterprisey example. So when we get to stuff like “The mission of the pizzeria is to offer positive influence in the work-life balance of both yuppies and dinkies,” and the like, I get a bit tired.Perhaps because I remember being in a similar situation around five years ago, where I used a flower shop as an example. I learned that a “Very Small Enterprise” can be useful for learning to understand simple modeling and system thinking, but unproductive when entering the “real” enterprise space – and hence, counterintuitive for understanding EA.

I am not very surprised that the authors, coming out of the Dutch EA school, like to talk about decomposition, modeling notations, and using Archimate. Students will here find a fine introduction, but need to go elsewhere if seeking actual, practical guidance. The same goes for the Normalized Architecture Organization Maturity Index (NAOMI), an assessment framework designed to determine an organization’s architecture effectiveness. We get an introduction, but not enough info to apply this NAOMI.

Teachers and advanced learners should check both Hinssen’s book and Op ‘t Land et al’s book out. I continue to use Scott Bernard’s Introduction to Enterprise Architecture, but may reconsider what I use a supplementary books. Maybe Hinssen will end up replacing Ross/weill/Robertson, or at least, supplementing it.

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