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Background

What is your name and title?

Louis King, Enterprise Architect, Louis E King (yale.edu)
Reviewed by the Technology Architecture Committee, 2020-12-11

How is Enterprise Architecture defined at your institution, and what is the mission of the EA practice?


See also: 
Yale's EA practice website, Yale University Enterprise Architecture, for more information.

See also: 
Yale University EA Practice ProfileYale University EA Maturity Review - 2019Yale University EA Maturity Review - 2018


ITS reorganized its architecture capability in July 2018. It transformed from a centralized design service capability incorporating EA, to a federated approach. EA is housed in the IT Shared Services department and IT solution architects report directly to ITS and IT Partner departments based on their domain expertise.


Enterprise Architecture supports ITS Organizational Priorities through an organization-wide approach to designing, planning, and governing the fundamental IT architecture used to deliver ITS services.

  • EA supports One IT at Yale by ensuring essential interoperability, reduced redundancy and architectural collaboration across ITS departments and IT Partners. 

  • EA improves Service Quality and reduces technical debt through reviewed solution designs, technology standards, and multi-year technology planning.

  • EA contributes to the Workplace of Choice through an engaging program for architects and solution designers to exchange knowledge, advance professional collaboration, and learn new skills.

EA Capabilities

The EA Team provides design and planning services, facilitates IT architecture governance and IT service standards, and leads a program to advance the professional community of architects, solution designers, and related specialists. It also coordinates the EA contributions of architects embedded in ITS departments and IT Partners, in a federated approach to EA. See also: A Federated Approach to Enterprise Architecture.

Review by Maturity Attribute

X indicates where Yale currently evaluates itself to be. X indicates where Yale expects/aims to be by next evaluation in one year.


  1. Initiating
2. Formed3. Defined4. Managed5. Improving
A. Scope Definition

XX
B. Engagement
XX

C. Impact Assessment
XX

D. Delivery


XX
E. Management
XX

Scope Definition

Our current level is about 3 and we are aiming for 4.

Examples that illustrate our current state:

  • The scope is well defined, vetted by senior leadership and documented.
  • The practice is engaged with much of the "design/build" community and they understand the scope.
  • Knowledge of the practice's capabilities is spreading but there is room for broader and deepen awareness.
  • There is "spottiness" in how Enterprise Architecture is experienced in the organization.
  • The recent Technology Road Map development program increased awareness to new audiences.
  • New consultation in research and health and medicine has been well received.
  • Perhaps entering level 4 in some aspects such as Senior Leadership Team engagement.

Things we want to work on:

  • Work on making the value proposition more widely and more deeply understood.
  • Improve communication of scope, capabilities and value proposition across all stakeholder groups utilizing:
    • IT Academy, Cafe IT, and Tech Talks
    • IT Update engagement stories
    • Senior Leadership Team 
  • Communicate value proposition in:
    • Design
    • Governance
    • Professional development
  • Use stories and testimonials that focus on value proposition from the service team perspective.
  • Utilize engagements as an opportunity to communicate EA capabilities.
  • Demonstrate capabilities. Don't just communicate them.

Engagement

Our current level is about 2 and we are aiming for 3.

Examples that illustrate our current state:

  • Key stakeholders in the senior leadership team recognize value proposition for EA capabilities and have demonstrated this by encouraging their teams to engage in EA programs.
  • The central EA leadership has been reorganized into a new IT Shared Services department within ITS. This has led to more formalized and more consistent engagement through better coordination with the other capabilities in the department – IT Service Management, IT Portfolio Management, Quality Assurance and Staff Development. 
  • The federated architecture model is working well and is strengthened by the positive long-term relationships built over many years of sustained engagement and successful collaboration. These engagements should be deepened.
  • Numerous service teams are engaged with EA through the portfolio gating process but a significant number of design oriented professionals are still unaware of the EA capability or perceive it as not a good fit for their needs.
  • The Technology Road Map program expanded and deepened the EA engagement across service teams.
  • There is a desire from leadership for a more powerful governance voice across ITS activities that gives runway for Architecture to have an impact.

Things we want to work on:

  • Regularly engage key stakeholders/champions in shaping the EA program and providing feedback.
  • Formalize and reinforce the relationship and role of federated architects and the EA practice.
  • Use the technology road map program and the standards development program to deepen relationships between architects, service teams and enterprise architecture outcomes.
  • Leverage the organizational position of IT Shared Services to further integrate EA capabilities into ITS management practices.

Impact Assessment

Our current level is about 2 and we are aiming for 3.

Examples that illustrate our current state:

  • Qualitative feedback on EA engagements indicate that EA has advanced the design, governance and professional development of Yale's IT architecture. 
    • Service teams report improved IT Solution Architecture and technical debt reduction through EA consultation and governance.
    • Architects report on the value of professional development through the federated architecture program.
  • Stakeholders qualitatively express satisfaction with the value provided while continuing to seek more valuable EA outcomes.
  • The number, type, and depth of architectural engagements are tracked indicating overall growth in engagement but uneven influence across the organization.

Things we want to work on:

  • Create and implement formal qualitative assessment of EA design, governance and professional development engagements.
  • Continue to track the number, type and participants in EA engagements.
  • Develop an assessment mechanism of the federated approach to architecture.

Delivery

Our current level is about 4 and we are aiming for 4.

Examples that illustrate our current state:

  • EA regularly assesses and improves methodologies through design iteration.
  • EA design and governance are integrated to ITSM and portfolio management services.
  • EA is appropriately staffed and skilled to deliver capabilities within the defined scope.
  • EA leverages higher education EA practice collaboration to identify and implement best practices.

Things we want to work on:

  • Strengthen support of federated architects.
  • Deepen architectural conversations and explorations. 
  • Standardize approach and documentation of root cause and technical debt reduction methods.

Management

Our current level is about 2 and we are aiming for 3.

Examples that illustrate our current state:

  • The EA practice is appropriately positioned in the IT Shared Services department alongside related capabilities of IT Service Management, IT Portfolio Management, Quality Assurance and Staff Development.
  • EA is appropriately staffed and financially resourced for the defined scope.
  • EA measures its impact and communicates that measure to the organization.
  • EA has developed streamlined, repeatable and reliable processes.
  • EA leverages small investments from the federated architects to improve outcomes.

Things we want to work on:

  • Strengthen the impact of the federated architects through better defined expectations, organizational and employment recognition of EA contributions and deeper engagement.
  • Improved clarity and measures of the EA value proposition.
  • Solidifying EA expectations in the distributed architecture program.
  • Plan to engage more rigorously in the organizational conversation regarding architecture gaps and staff positions.

Summary

Overall, what are the major challenges and/or opportunities for EA at your institution?

The EA practice is beginning to hit its stride following the reorganization and restructuring of its program. It will continue its focus on the three ITS Organizational Priorities – One IT at Yale, Service Quality and Workplace of Choice.

The clearly defined scope and value proposition must be more evenly communicated across the organization from the senior leadership team to the service teams and architects.

The engagement with federated architects must be strengthened and even greater value must be identified and derived from the effort.

Maintaining the scope of activities while broadening and deepening the organizational engagement will establish a solid operational foundation for further architectural improvement and open the door to greater support towards digital transformation.


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