What is Enterprise Architecture?
Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a discipline for proactively defining a conceptual blueprint to enable businesses to respond to disruptive forces. The objective of EA is to ascertain, analyse and categorise, the scope of work, to shift an organisation from current state toward a desired business vision and outcome.
What is Project Management?
Project Management (PM) is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing, temporary and finite activities, to achieve specific goals and change which benefit the organisation.
What is a Project Portfolio?
A Project Portfolio is the way an organisation has structured projects into categories by using an overall process to select, prioritise and manage projects across the organisation. This process is also known as Project Portfolio Management (PPM) .
The Enterprise Architecture (EA) and Project Management (PM) Link:
Enterprise Architecture is responsible for establishing the Information Technology (IT) Roadmap which will form a large part of Capital Expenditure within an organisation. Project Management is the execution mechanism for an EA programme of work when approved and funded. As such Enterprise Architecture and Project Management intersect at various points within the Corporate Project Portfolio. Depending on the organisation the intersection may come in the form of Gate Reviews where EA will ensure compliance to principles, standards and conceptual designs. Or perhaps through an Architecture Review Board (ARB), run separately from the Project Lifecycle (PLC), for projects and programmes which are architecturally significant and meet set criteria. Both EA and PM operate as governance bodies. PM is executing on the scope and requirements as defined by EA, or adhering to the principles, standards and conceptual designs as agreed to by the ARB.
Whether you have hired an Enterprise Architect Consultant or have your own EA division, eventually you will get an EA direction of the business, process, or technology changes that will need to happen to achieve the EA strategic future state. These EA recommendations are not temporary endeavours, however they do have a specific scope and timeframe to achieve a unique outcome. Strategic Technical Reference Architectures are always multi-year requiring sound Project Management to achieve.
Alternatively, depending on the type, nature, and goals of a project, an Enterprise Architect may be required to perform tasks and generate architecture documents, within the project, or obtain review and approval of an Architecture Board for conceptual designs, process redesign, application or infrastructure changes that will be introduced by the project.
7 Tips For Pulling EA and PM Together:
- Develop strong unified governance for Strategic Planning, Project Portfolio Management, Enterprise Architecture Management, Project Management, and Change Management.
- Identify and align common governance points across all governance groups within an organisation to simplify where commonly possible.
- Establish boards or groups that have a specific goal and structure in support of Enterprise Architecture and Project Management to collaborate within your organisation.
- Review, document, and train the organisation on Project Portfolio, Change Management, Project Management and Enterprise Architecture processes and process touch points.
- Embed mandatory and discretionary deliverables into checklists, templates, core documents, and project plans/schedules.
- Document, Document, Document! Create a reference library of relevant Project Portfolio, Enterprise Architecture, Project Management and Change Management current and future state, standards, and governance to be leveraged and reused for consistency, traceability and acceleration. Keep This Library Up To Date.
- Put your money where your mouth is … Setup consequences for non-compliance for governance activities. Just remember to build in an Exception Management process to enable flexibility, as needed, within the organisation.
Businesses invest a significant amount of time, money and effort to deliver value and improve their capabilities in a cost effective and efficient manner. Project Management and Enterprise Architecture should have a symbiotic and complementary relationship within your organisation to get the best bang for your buck through collaboration and common delivery touch points.
This article was written in tandem by Judith Oja-Gillam and Michelle McKinnon. With their respective backgrounds in Enterprise Architecture and Project Management, the piece was written to draw out the linkages and opportunities for these disciplines to work effectively together and help drive business value through effective execution of strategy and projects.