Architecture Document Process & Section Descriptions
The process depicted above shows: 1-the architecture development, 2-the organizational teams involvement, and 3-the involvement of the architecture in initiative planning.
The architecture process includes the following phases:
Identifying the Business Drivers and Information Requirements
The process of defining an information technology environment and its' architecture begins with an understanding of:
I explore both internal and external factors that affect your business in the short-term and long-term. Factors that cause changes in the business goals, operation, culture, and/or organization structure.
I approach this task through a review of existing organization documentation and interviews with key individuals that can provide insights into one or more of these topics and issues. I meet with your IT organization(s) to get further insight into organization and IT requirements. If necessary, I request interviews with specific business units as required. In these discussions, I explore the processes, technology, and issues that drive each business unit, the interaction among units, the sharing of information, and the vision each has for the strategic use of Information Technology. The discussions reveal issues with the current Information Technology infrastructure and requirements for the future as defined by the business plans. Ideally, participation from client staff includes senior management; the information technology organization; and business unit management and staff responsible for all operational aspects of the business.
Documenting the Architecture Requirements
Working with you, I document your business drivers and future Information Technology environment. I then map these business directives to a set of business information requirements and desired information architecture characteristics. That is, the translation or mapping of business directives and drivers to their information technology implications and focus.
This project phase results in a defined set of business drivers, business information requirements, and a technology vision that drives the development of the architecture principles.
Description of an
Enterprise-wide Information Technology Architecture Document:
A brief summary of the sections that follow. It includes no more information than a senior level executive wants to read to understand the effort, business justification, and operational impact. It is business focused.
Statement of the corporate/business mission and strategy. Definition of the business problems, current and envisioned, including information on long term business trends. Scope and objectives of the architecture effort. Definition of participating business and IT units as derived from the business strategic plan.
Description of the architecture project approach, deliverables, and level of details specified. Critical factors required for success.
The planning assumptions that link the business with the IT Architecture. They define the criteria the Architecture must meet for success. They must be specific, measurable, and attainable. Explains why each business driver supports and is necessary to achieve the corporate mission as derived from the business strategic plan.
The mapping/linkage of the business drivers to business information, technology components, and IT functions (not standards or products). The information technology enablers that will fulfill the business requirements. The IT requirements satisfy the business drivers, create the business values, and justifies the investment in IT (created from and part of the IT strategy).
A cross-reference matrix that links the business information requirements back to the business drivers they support. The matrix creates a relative weighting of the information requirements.
A view of the future world. Example scenarios of business processes and operations with the required IT enabling and support functions operationally described. Describes principles related to organization structure, support, and business processes. The vision is the product of the IT strategy and architecture efforts coupled with industry best practices and constraints imposed by the existing environment.
The architectural requirements and resulting principles that support the business information requirements of the organization. The principles are derived from the information requirements, industry best practices, and technology trends. They are statements of direction and practice focused on the strategic use and management of information and related technology. It promotes organizational consensus and a shared understanding of IT across the enterprise. Each principle includes a definition statement, rationale why important, and implication for the organization.
A cross-reference matrix that links the architecture principles back to the business information requirements they support. The matrix creates a relative weighting of the architecture principles.
Coupled with the conceptual principles, these are the principles, guidelines, frameworks, standards, and product lists that, when followed, will meet the IT requirements and support the strategic direction of the business. A cohesive framework that satisfies the IT requirements, vision, and business drivers of the enterprise. The selection of components and the depth of detail in each are specific to each organization and its requirements. Typically, divided into the broad categories of data, applications, infrastructure, and management. The architecture and the vision promote organizational consensus and a shared understanding of IT across the enterprise.
A high level view of the current architecture and IT environment that can be compared with the proposed Vision Environment and Architecture. It explains where the current environment and structure are failing to meet the demands of the business and support its strategic direction. The current architecture inventory points to specific instances with the potential for information and application sharing and reuse. Current standards and IT skill capabilities are also described.
The IT components that must be modified, replaced, and/or added to the existing environment to realize the desired architecture state.
The business priorities, constraints, budgets, and timeframe for realizing the desired infrastructure, data, and application environment. Defines the metrics for each effort and for success of the architecture. It is the architecture and migration plan that provides guidance and filters during initiative execution regarding the design, development, and deployment of technology components and business applications.
The specific initiatives in support of the migration plan. Includes issues of training, data conversion, and communications. This section would also include a high-level risk assessment of both executing and eliminating projects.
Describes the organization structure required to successfully executing this plan and support the vision/target environment. A plan to migrate to such an organization, timeframe, potential issues, and management requirements are outlined. Defines metrics for organizational success.
The organization structure, committees, and processes necessary to create this architecture and manage its development and realignment and refreshment over time with changes in the business. It describes how the architecture assists in the selection, design, development, and deployment of information technology components.
The industry best practices and technology trends, as defined by research firms, are included here and used to create the architecture principles and vision environment described above. Describes other assumptions used to create the architecture and vision as required.
Robert Julius Condemi
23 Hallock Lane
Rocky Point, New York 11778
Tel ... 516 909 RJC1 / (7521)
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