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Why enterprise architecture – the building analogy

EA is all about creating a master plan and then constantly referring to it as change happens within the enterprise. The master plan allows stakeholders to see the implications not following it before it gets too costly.

Take the case of the collapsed building in Makongeni estate. There was growth in demand for more space despite the fact that the structure was initially designed and built for particular capacity. In order to rapidly respond to demand, the developer added more floors while weakening the existing occupied floors. In the end the structure could not hold the increased capacity on the foundation that was initially meant to support lesser occupancy. In the end it collapsed bringing loss to property and injury to occupants.
The discipline of enterprise architecture continues to be ignored in many an enterprise due to being misunderstood or inappropriately applied / positioned in the enterprise. The rapid demand for agility in response to changing market needs demands that an enterprise is adequately positioned to respond to those demands. Some enterprises think they are adequate until a ‘makongeni’ mishap in the form of a botched system implementation or an unsuccessful innovation.
Enterprises cannot ignore the need to define the enterprise using mature frameworks and having the discipline to stick to that definition while responding to changes in the market. This is what we call the science of the enterprise. Having a periodic table of the enterprise enables responding to demand in a structured way with easy to quantify benefits and costs drawn from the periodic table. 


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