• 26 April 2024
  • Agenda:

    • Roll Call (East to West) Name and Institution

    • Call for a Scribe

    • Main Topic - EA Tool Wrap-Up

    • Working Group Updates

  • Facilitator: J.J. Du Chateau


  • Henry Pruitt: Essential at New York University
  • Mary Stevens: Bizzdesign at The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
  • Peter Churey, Ardoq at Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario, Canada


  • Henry Pruitt: Essential at New York University
    • A higher-end user group has been developed

  • Mary Stevens: Bizzdesign at The University of Illinois

  • Peter Churey, Ardoq at Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario

  • J.J. Why did you believe a tool is needed?

  • NYU: We started with a crazy spreadsheet mapping applications to capabilities and using pivot tables, which was arduous yet began to show potential value. Institutional Solutions (Fin, HR, Student) are the largest group of applications, and they provide tool funding.

  • UI: We started looking at infrastructure documentation but needed something more robust, from a perspective, to provide a unified view and something more sustainable than a bunch of disconnected and undiscoverable spreadsheets.

  • Sheridan: The institution was preparing itself for sweeping changes ahead of digital transformation, and a new CIO was looking to sponsor and establish Enterprise Architecture for several reasons, including the need better to handle a very wide field of integrations and interdependencies (while also looking to manage the rationalization of current and future applications).
    • Who did you have to convince?

      • The ironic situation is that IT has the financial autonomy and can acquire software such as an EA tool, which is an activity we are trying to stop.

      • Built business case championed by the CIO

  • UI:  Mary worked with her direct manager to make the case.

  • NYU: The CIO said the number of apps in the spreadsheet Henry was using was wrong, indicating that we don't know the truth about what apps are out there. The group with the most applications acquired funding.

  • UI: We are moving from ad hoc to more mature. We are trying to work with leadership to understand capabilities. Through many iterations of leadership, we better understood capabilities through repeated exposure. We use repetition to show value. Jeff's presentation also helped. We are trying to be authoritative in the use of data. Could the tool be the CMDB?  Not really.  The CMDB is more operational, and the EA tool is more strategic.

  • NYU: We started with mapping from the business capabilities. We are working towards using the information in the tool to help develop an IT IT strategy.  Factor in the license cost for distributing the tool.  Distribute application entry and application.  EA maintains the ownership of the tools, definitions, and capabilities.

  • Sheridan: Build-out refers to the current state and is starting to work with other groups of architects. We worked through identifying what an application is. We built an EA glossary so everybody understands Applications and application Groups. 

  • NYU: You need to be at a certain maturity level to get value out of the tool. Yes, having the data helped open the door to the relationship. However, time is spent analyzing data rather than working on the relationship.  

  • UI:  Using models that help people

  • Sheridan: The Medium is the message regarding the tool, meaning that new visualizations can be created with the tool that has not been revealed before.  When modeling the future state, Phil had the aha moment and could see the tool's value.

From https://www.gartner.com/document-reader/document/4145899

  • UI: A bulk load from the CMDB is not recommended. A picture will expose how people use one word in two different ways.  The image helps resolve the meaning, which helps work towards standardization.

  • Sheridan: Peter, Ardoq's value is the surveys that can be maintained by the end user. The surveys provide a better channel for getting input from end users. Phil is looking for good use of the dashboards. Need graph query skills.

  • NYU:  Operational things will be in the CMDB.  Strategic things are in the tool.

  • Sheridan:  Ardoq is good for modeling the current state but not so good for the future.

  • NYU: Business capabilities were hard for others to grasp. Henry had to adjust his mental model of linking apps to multiple capabilities in the tool.

    • Pilots:  Ardoq, BizzDesign, Essential

      • Essential has a fixed price.  Other models had to limit editors, X-Consumer, and Y-Editor.  Essential started with 10 licenses and now is at 60.  It is free if you want to run your own server.  19K per year cost.

  • UI:  Navigating the political layer of applications and data.
    • BizzDesign: We started with 3 licenses to edit and consume. We're up to 10 now. The annual cost is around 20K.   Be careful. It is difficult to move from one system to another easily.

  • jeff, Do the tools provide visuals that can connect with leadership?

    • Phil:  Ardoq, you get what you get when the visualization is invoked, enabling relationships.  We are not taking Lucidchart away from the solution architects.  The layout impositions provide some relief from creating a view from scratch.  Mindful of what layer you are showing to the audiences

  • NYU: Pick the focus and get the value out first before you move on to the next shiny thing. Show other schools what is possible. One group wants to start at the capability level, and another wants to start at the application level.

Further Information


  • van der Heiden, G. (2023) _8 Steps to Select and Obtain Value From Enterprise Architecture Tools_, Gartner Research, Article ID G00784838, available at https://www.gartner.com/document-reader/document/4145899An enterprise architecture product is not “just a tool” — its features and functions support business and IT, making it an enterprise application. Enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders must follow our eight steps to select the most appropriate EA tool and obtain value from it.

  • Frangou, A., Gianni, A., Steinmetz, A., & Jhawar, A. (2023) _Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Architecture Tools_, Gartner Research, Article ID G00784644, available at https://www.gartner.com/document/4953731Enterprise architecture tools support the delivery of business outcomes by providing a central repository for managing and analyzing enterprise data to highlight the impact of change. EA leaders need to assess the product capabilities of vendors in relation to five key use cases.




14:06:52 From J.J. DU CHATEAU to Everyone:
    There had been attendees from Greek and Great Britain periodically in the past.
14:08:12 From jeff kennedy to Dana Miller I UTA(Direct Message):
    https://spaces.at.internet2.edu/display/itana/2024-04-26+EA+Tools+Wrap-Up+Discussion how is that?
14:08:30 From jeff kennedy to Dana Miller I UTA(Direct Message):
    ^^ and thank you for volunteering to scribe!
14:08:48 From Dana Miller I UTA to jeff kennedy(Direct Message):
    Thanks, I think I messed up the parent?
14:09:55 From Dana Miller I UTA to jeff kennedy(Direct Message):
    Fixed it.  Thanks for your help!
14:12:04 From Louis King to Everyone:
    Peter, is your implementation across all campuses or for a specific campus?
14:16:23 From Mary Stevens to Everyone:
    Story telling is one of our key skills, right?
14:16:45 From Henry Pruitt to Everyone:
    yes; stories sell!
14:18:30 From Peter Churey (Sheridan College) to Everyone:
    Reacted to "Story telling is one..." with 👍🏻
14:22:00 From jeff kennedy to Everyone:
    Replying to "Story telling is one..."
    +1 and just yesterday i was reminded of this Gartner piece on storytelling for #entarch =  {Jhawar, A., Allega, P., & Gabrys, E. (2023) _Storytelling for Enterprise Architecture: How to Persuade Leaders of EAs Value in Decision Making_, Gartner Research, Article ID G00466751, available at https://www.gartner.com/document-reader/document/3981129 — Communicating the EA value proposition and retaining support from leadership teams is a challenge. To gain stakeholder engagement in the value proposition of EA, enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders can use a three-act structure of storytelling.}
14:24:37 From jeff kennedy to Everyone:
    ¿What do you think is the interplay between having EA Tools and EA Practice Maturity? = for example, is there a minimum level of maturity needed to gain any benefit; at some point do EA Tools help to lift EA Maturity; are EA Tools simply the cost of doing EA business?
14:26:55 From jeff kennedy to Everyone:
    ¿Business Architecture came through strongly as use-cases for the EA Tools, and i'm wondering about Business Processes and the extent to which the various EA Tools support process modelling and integrate with process mining etc and the extent to which folk are using those tool features: does that depend upon the dominant EA Practice Archetype, EA Practice Maturity, etc?
14:28:26 From Henry Pruitt to Everyone:
    I think there is a minimum level of maturity required to get value from the tool... you need to establish standards and definitions etc so you have consistency
14:30:14 From Henry Pruitt to Everyone:
    our business architecture practice is not as mature as we hope it will be, and it varies based on business area... for instance finance is more mature than research, in terms of processes
14:30:56 From Henry Pruitt to Everyone:
    it has taken a while for people to understand the value of capabilities
14:31:36 From Henry Pruitt to Everyone:
    one of the things that helped is to correlate capabilities to types of data created/consumed, and the number of applications supporting a capability
14:33:24 From jeff kennedy to Everyone:
    ¿Each of the EA Tools featured positioned itself as a data repository able to connect with and consume data from a bunch of other systems... (thinking of Mary's comment about not-a-CMDB) to what extent are you all doing that kind of integration and across what sources and only ingest?  Here's a picture of some commonly-scoped integrations:
14:33:28 From jeff kennedy to Everyone:
    Reacted to "I think there is a m..." with 👍
14:35:27 From Henry Pruitt to Everyone:
    that is a great visual... ea at the center of the universe!
14:35:35 From jeff kennedy to Everyone:
    Reacted to "that is a great visu..." with 😍
14:36:24 From Dana Miller I UTA to Everyone:
    The Medium is the Message is perfect coming from Canada.  Thanks Phil!
14:37:05 From Philippe to Everyone:
    Reacted to "The Medium is the Me..." with 😂
14:39:55 From Mary Stevens to Everyone:
    The surveys in that tool do seem to be very powerful
14:40:02 From Mary Stevens to Everyone:
    I wish I had them.
14:42:59 From jeff kennedy to Everyone:
    ¿Visualizations, at what level of stakeholder seniority do the tool-based visualizations stop working and you need to break out into something more like artwork than modelling <<< or is this part of maturity and senior stakeholders begin to appreciate #entarch models?
14:45:09 From jeff kennedy to Everyone:
    Replying to "our business archite..."
    ...thinking partly of this sort of feature set around all-the-business-things including capabilities and processes and value streams, this from Essential "The BPMN Process Modeller augments the existing support for business processes in Essential, including the links to Business Capabilities, Applications and Information used, Organisations and Value Streams.  The ability to draw your processes in Essential, if required, fulfils the functionality required for the business process area in an EA Tool."
14:45:30 From Henry Pruitt to Everyone:
    some tools provide "sexier" views than others
14:46:07 From Henry Pruitt to Everyone:
    and knowing your audience will be important... exec wants simple pictures, app owners want tables and graphs
14:46:45 From Henry Pruitt to Everyone:
    some tools can create simple powerpoints, or publish to wikis
14:47:43 From jeff kennedy to Everyone:
    Ardoq and Interactive Block Diagrams: https://help.ardoq.com/en/articles/143573-interactive-blocks-beta
14:49:54 From Mary Stevens to Everyone:
    I will take some of my views and work with graphics designers to help create objects that the CIO might want to use with senior leadership.  The views from the tool help that discussion and form the basis for the sexier visualization.
14:51:29 From Mary Stevens to Everyone:
    Consumer users in BizzDesign can have static views, but they they can also drill in and investigate that object in the model. So for more technical people, I don’t have to a priori know every view they might want, they do some exploration and even save a view that is useful for them.
14:53:19 From jeff kennedy to Everyone:
    Essential publishes this cost openly, it's USD$19,500/year for any number of users and any number of information nodes and any amount of the features.
14:54:27 From J.J. DU CHATEAU to Everyone:
    Re visuals. Some of the visuals can be very basic, so I have in the past have exported the basic matrix or diagram and 'prettied' it up with color coding and adding additional ways to depict more variables in 1 place.
14:56:37 From Henry Pruitt to Everyone:
    one other comment,... try them all... most vendors will offer a free pilot with your data
14:57:11 From Mary Stevens to Everyone:
    +1 Henry. Also, there is a learning curve for each.  So make sure that you allocate time to learn the tool.
14:57:38 From Henry Pruitt to Everyone:
    the three that we discussed were my favorite out of the ones on the marketplace... we started with 6 as candidates
14:58:11 From Mary Stevens to Everyone:
    Visuals - Heatmaps seem to be well understood by many levels, and are great conversation starters, or supporters.

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