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Why Current State Enterprise Architecture is Easy

        posted by , December 22, 2011

Enterprise Architecture (EA) programs often get current state architectural blueprints all wrong.

The current state can become a huge time-suck — preventing the EA team from accomplishing their core objectives. In other cases the current state becomes stale (useless shelfware).

It's a shame — current state blueprints are essential to architectural success. What's more, they should be easy.

Current State Architectural Blueprints are Essential

It's impossible to extend or modify a complex system without understanding its current design. When current state architectural blueprints aren't available new projects have only three options:

  1. Throw away the system and start again (expensive).

  2. Document the current state blueprint by walking through the code (expensive, error prone, high risk).

  3. Attempt to change the system without fully understanding the impact of your changes (high risk).

None of these options are appealing. This is why your current state architectural blueprints are perhaps the most important documentation your IT organization produces.

The Current State Blueprints Gone Wrong

The problem with current state blueprints is that they can be notoriously difficult to maintain. They're a perpetual moving target. Many EAs become so bogged down in current state updates — they have little time for anything else.

Why Current State Blueprints Should be Easy

Ideally, Enterprise Architect's don't maintain the current state — they provide the framework, templates, tools and process for project teams to do it.

In other words, the current state should never duplicate project documentation — it is the project documentation. There are several benefits of this approach:

no duplicate documentation

ensures that project teams understand how their project fits into the architecture

frees enterprise architects from repetitive documentation


This approach works particularly well when enterprise architecture software is used.

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