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What are Principles in Enterprise Architecture ?

Principles are fundamental statements, which express a belief about the future and / or future direction. They articulate the organisation’s vision and are the cornerstone for managing change. 

The Business Strategy describes the business principles, goals and objectives that drive the Enterprise Architecture.

The Business Strategy also includes details of Business Products and Business Services that an organisation offers to its customers, in various markets, customer segments and channels.
The Business Strategy is further defined with a description of the organisations Target Operating Model.

The Enterprise Architecture represents a link between the business strategy (and IT strategy) and the operational systems that are acquired or developed and executed in production.

Business Principles
The Business Principles are the most important drives that shape and govern the Enterprise Architecture and the Solutions acquired or built by delivery projects.
The Enterprise Architecture Principles specifically concern the Enterprise Architecture and there will include separate architecture principles for each Architecture Domain (e.g. Business Services, Process Architecture, Information Architecture, Application Architecture and Technology Architecture).

Enterprise Vision
The organisation's Vision is a statement of the primary goals and objectives desired in the future.

Target Operating Model
The target Operating Model, describes the way the organisation will operate in order to do business.
The ultimate goal of an Operating Model is to define the optimal way to organise the delivery of products and business services and value to clients in the context of other aspects of the Business Strategy such as quality, cost and risk point of view.

See also Wikipedia:Operating Model

Linking Business and IT Strategies

This is where the need to reduce the impedance mismatch is most critical as any misalignment at this stage have long term consequences. In order to mitigate inherent risk associated in this process, agility and iteration can play a vital role. Current business dynamics mandates maintaining balance between 'conformance' and 'performance', which means the right approach exist somewhere between Waterfall and XP.

Two important tools to grasp, position and start off the mapping process are: Benson and Parker's square wheel and Porter's Value Chain Model. Porter's model is specially useful in identifying critical business processes which can then be mapped over by related information systems. Every organization needs to have its own version of Porter model and should iteratively expand on it. It will the linkage between the unique set of business processes employed by a company and supporting information systems which provides strategic position and extended value.

Credit to the author : Adrian Campbell

Principles are fundamental statements, which express a belief about the future and / or future direction. They articulate the organisation’s vision and are the cornerstone for managing change. 

Principles provide an agreed reference or policy to be used for evaluation of alternatives and decisions. 

The principles are equal in a sense that they all have to be taken into account for any decision, but their importance may vary on the particular decision to be taken.

Business Principles

Business Principles are the most important EA deliverable that drives, shapes and governs the Enterprise Architecture and Solutions built by delivery projects.
Business Principles will be translated into actionable guidelines and rules for project teams.

For some Business Principles this will require further refinements with the consulted business stakeholders.
The resulting guidelines will be put into practice through active involvement of architects in the project work.
If projects deviate from those guidelines and breach some Business Principle, the gap will be formally documented with all the trade-offs that it entails.

Gaps that cannot be resolved directly will be reviewed by IT Management and submitted to the Architecture Review Board for approval.
This will ensure that business judgment will be applied in the realisation of the business principles.

Architecture Principles

The Architecture Principles are derived from the Business Principles and specifically concern the Enterprise Architecture Domains.
There will be separate architecture principles for each Architecture Domain (e.g. Business Services, Process Architecture, Information Architecture, Application Architecture and Technology Architecture).

The Architecture Review Board owns the Architecture Principles and approves them prior to their usage.

For an example of Architecture Principles, see TOGAF: Architecture Principles.

 

Credit to the author : Adrian Campbell

Infrography credit : created by Eunji Kang from Noun Project

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