Updating the EA Toolkit

It is time to expand the modern EA toolkit to better address EA economics and skills that can help many organizations evolve toward Agile and Digital Enterprises able to compete with companies that were born digital.

Without re-architecting the operating model and introducing progressive transformation and change management techniques, we will not elevate enterprises towards a business agility level (https://www.kotterinc.com/methodology/8-steps/ or https://www.amazon.com/Effective-Change-Managers-Handbook-Management/dp/074947307X ).

The “Agile” trend has created an anti-pattern of code without documentation, increasing technical debt, bringing agility at the team level but a lack of overall business agility and a lack of support for long term EA mission by not taking into consideration the need for longer term value https://scaledagileframework.com/business-agility/ .

At the same time, we have seen the emphasis moving from Projects to Products and

from Waterfall to a variable/iterative agile life cycle covering all layers of activities. Concurrently, we’ve seen the appearance of concepts like Infinite Flow, Flight levels, Decision Latency (https://www.standishgroup.com/adviceAuthor/109), and value streams. Flow is seen as a continuous life cycle) embracing enterprise activities at different layers and stages (strategy, business, software, manufacturing) and is depicted well by Flow Framework Metrics https://flowframework.org/ffc-discover/ & https://www.leanix.net/en/wiki/vsm/flow-metrics

Agile techniques focused on the left side of the Agile Manifesto are supported by a new agile requirements model that revolves around stories (big epics/enablers … features … stories and relative estimates techniques that are localized to the team and do not provide universal metrics like the Constructive Cost Model (COCOMO) — a procedural software cost estimation model, Function Points, Use cases, etc.).

This revolution came from the field of rigorous software engineering and has led very often to major misunderstandings in EA about appropriate documentation requirement, i.e. https://www.volere.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/user-story-considered-harmful.pdf & https://scaledagileframework.com/safe-requirements-model/

Therefore, it is time to reconcile EA’s toolkit in light of its need to both meet strategic alignment imperatives and to support agile solution delivery. This challenge can partially be met by ensuring that EAs are better informed about and skilled in agile approaches increasingly used in today’s increasingly digital enterprises.

Authored by Alex Wyka, EA Principals Senior Consultant and Principal