It makes perfect sense for large, thriving organizations to have a “zoomed out” perspective of their architectural design and the planning required for their framework to be successful. These organizations must take into consideration “core elements” of their designed framework, which include methodology, artifacts, standards and best-practices (Bernard, 2012, loc. 555). Once all of these parts are in place, organizations have a frame of reference; a sort of blueprint for their vision and mission.
A friend of mine is self-employed and regarded by many to be a Renaissance Man and a local legend on Catalina Island. This man has multiple classified military licenses for underwater welding and various other skills that he has mastered over the years. One of his many talents is designing and building boats. He also designs his own tools, and built his own shop from scrap materials over a 20-year period of time. I once asked him how he went about building “The Moonstone” (a glass-bottom boat used for taking tourists into the Avalon harbor to look at the various sea life) for Mr. William Wrigley himself, and he described his general plan to me. The only part I remember him saying is that in creating any major project, one must never begin until there is a clear understanding of every process leading to the finished product. In other words, begin with the end in mind. This story stands out to me as being related to the Enterprise Architecture of an organization because it’s impossible to really know what the finished product will entail, completely. Sure, we can have a clear vision, but we can’t predict what changes will occur along the way. But we must have a plan for when changes do occur.
Some wonderings I still have about Enterprise Architecture include how the architectural design looks among various school districts throughout the United States. Are there shared architectural designs, since we share similar visions and missions for educating our youth? Is there such a “model” framework that a school district has implemented that should be part of the architecture of every other district, regardless of demographic breakdown? How does each EA appear at various levels of governance (nationally, state-wide, district-wide)? I’m curious to learn about the different EAs within our own cohort.
Bernard, S. A. (2012). An introduction to enterprise architecture. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.