1. Roll Call (by timezone - East to West)

  2. Scribe Shout-out

  3. Agenda Bash

  4. Itana Org Updates

    1. Working Group Updates

    2. Spring Face2Face 2016

  5. Round Table - Discussion of architecture related challenges at your university


From the Adobe Connect attendee list (may not include people who only called in):


  • Beth Schaefer has agreed to join the ITANA Steering Committee -- welcome!

  • Leo Fernig has withdrawn from the ITANA Steering Committee

  • API working group continues to meet; see the ITANA mailing list

  • Face2Face update:


Open round table discussion:

  • Louis King (Yale)

    • Started new strategic thinking/planning processes

    • Targeted to areas with an absence of strategic thinking, or a group that is coalescing and could benefit from report

    • Adapted ideas from an existing leadership program

    • Method includes:

      • Scan of the environment -- factors including financial, demographic, customer needs, etc.

      • Headline the desired future state; apply SMART criteria to it

      • Gap analysis; assess the current state

      • Develop strategies

    • Very effective at bonding people who don’t work together currently by discussing future vision, before looking at current state (which tends to lead to “finger pointing”)

    • Used on multiple initiatives with different scales and complexity

    • Overall, this targets portions of the portfolio to jump start, compared with prior portfolio-wide strategy efforts that had lots of participation but didn’t result in much actionable work

    • Created a facilitator guide; an article on this work is forthcoming

  • Mike Janke (Minnesota)

    • Working on starting an architecture practice, drawing from existing IT systems staff (from a central IT staff that serves 31 institutions across the state system)

    • Bootstrapping is hard, and so is changing the organization

    • One challenge is sorting out architecture from design; historically the same people did architecture, design, and some implementation -- and the phases are not distinct

    • Not staffed for “heavy” architectural and design processes

    • Parts of the organization are more or less receptive/asking for architecture

    • The EA group can offer a range of views: from opinions to guidance to recommendations to requirements

    • Discussion about how to give architecture “teeth” and limit exceptions:

      • Mike: Issues are escalated to the leadership team reporting to the state CIO

      • Louis: Issues are brought to a Technical Architecture Committee with university-wide representation that applies guiding principles

      • Chris: Similar process

      • Mike referred to: Stefan Bente, Collaborative Enterprise Architecture

    • Want to be lean/agile, but also want to make sure recommendations are well researched, grounded, in standard formats, etc.

    • Discussion about “changing the wheels on a moving car”:

      • Mike: With ¾ of effort dedicated to maintaining existing solutions, few people can really envision a significantly different future state

      • Important to show a future but be clear it will take a long time to get there and the path could change by the time we do

  • J.J. Du Chateau (Wisconsin)

    • Enabling a governance group to evaluate projects/initiative

    • Using some ITANA architecture library techniques, specifically the Investment Value Matrix

    • Main goal is to help see which of many options should be looked at most closely

    • Hoping to also use something like brick diagrams to document the service portfolio


Jim’s notes on the Adobe whiteboard:

  • EA Best Practice - Focus on an area - don't try to boil the whole portfolio.  Better to have actionable EA in an area that is ripe for change and worth the strategic investment.

  • EA Best Practice - Future State First.  Better to know where you are going and what the vision is rather than where you need to leave.  This is a good way to bring people together.  Starting with current state just inflames current politics and silos.  Many can find a common vision of the future who disagree on the current state.

  • EA Best Practice - Your architecture processes should be only as heavy as is needed.   Don't add overhead and formality unless you have a strong reason to do so.  The goal is to deliver value not build bureaucracy

  • EA Best Practice - Success will build influence.  Start with things you can accomplish and have success in to demonstrate the value of architecture.  People will come to you once you have demonstrated success.

  • EA Best Practice - Build a community of contributors - this helps you get buy-in and leverage your limited architecture resources


From the Adobe chat window:

Jim  Phelps:

Luke Tracy - UMich: Hi.  Just joined the call

Jim  Phelps: Do you have examples or samples someplace we could see?

Jim  Phelps: Welcome Luke

Bob Dein & company (Miami OH): Portfolio of ? Applications, Infrastructure, Services?

Chris Eagle (Michigan): +5 on that best practice!

Jim  Phelps: Let me plug the Spring Face2Face 2016 once more.  It is all about Facilitation skills.

J.J. Du Chateau (Wisconsin): Phone conf with Gartner 2 years ago said that the pendulum is swings back & forth between doing future or current state 1st.

Daniel Black - Miami Ohio: "Bureaucracy"

Bob Dein & company (Miami OH): We started out emphasizing future state and then our new CIO changed our operating model which depended heavily on having a good current state representation in order to analyze IT requests, especially strategic

Chris Eagle (Michigan): Welcome Beth!

Beth Schaefer: Thanks, Chris!

Jim  Phelps: Thanks Daniel

Daniel Black - Miami Ohio: Surely. :)

Michael Janke (MnSCU): Reference book: Stefan Bente, Collaborative Enterprise Architecture

Daniel Black - Miami Ohio: Cool, Michael. I like a book that tries to figure out how to reimagine EA to comport with Agile/Lean/scrum methodologies that so many development teams are using.

Daniel Black - Miami Ohio: Michael: Our CIO this week put EA in terms of "changing the tires on a moving car". We can't start anew, green field, so we have to be nimble.

Piet Niederhausen (UWash):

Jim  Phelps:

Beth Schaefer: Thank you for the call today. It was very interesting and informative.

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