IT Connect
Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Getting Started with Enterprise Architecture

Set a Strategy 🗺

Strategy development helps any group align on drivers and outcomes. What factors are driving change for us, and what outcomes do we want to achieve? These questions are equally relevant for planning a new or existing service, project, or technology solution.

The Strategy on a Page method provides a simple way to facilitate strategy discussions. Drafting a strategy enables Stakeholder Engagement, allowing you to get input from customers, sponsors, and partners. Later the strategy becomes both a planning and communication tool.

Before people can formulate a strategy, often they need more shared context. Business Process Mapping is a common way to build shared understanding of how value is delivered today and what obstacles a strategy needs to overcome. Capability Mapping identifies what the organization needs to be able to do to succeed, which can identify current or future gaps that point to goals for strategy.

As you define a strategy, also take a look at existing strategies around you:

Need help getting started? Request a consultation from the EA team.

Define a Service 📝

The concept of a service helps you plan how to provide long-term value to customers. A service includes not just a solution, but everything needed to effectively enable people to adopt it, operate the solution long-term, and support its users.

To envision a new service or assess an existing one, a Business Model Canvas (or specifically a Service Model Canvas) is a simple way to facilitate discussion about the value the service provides to customers, and what resources are needed to make it happen. Drafting a canvas is a good form of Stakeholder Engagement and generates information for a Service Design and Transition Package later.

Before defining a specific service, the group may need to look at the larger context — what factors are driving change for us, and what outcomes do we want to achieve? The Strategy on a Page method provides a simple way to facilitate this type of discussion.

For more about planning IT services, see:

Need help getting started? Request a consultation from the EA team.

Plan a Project 🏗

Before initiating a project, your stakeholders may need to look at the larger context — what factors are driving change for us, and what outcomes do we want to achieve? The Strategy on a Page method provides a simple way to facilitate this type of discussion.

As you propose or start a project, additional context is often helpful for identifying the right scope. Business Process Mapping is a common way to build shared understanding of how value is delivered today and what challenges a project needs to address. Capability Mapping identifies what the organization needs to be able to do to succeed, which can identify gaps to be addressed by a project.

If the project is about a service, the service should be defined. A Business Model Canvas (or specifically a Service Model Canvas) is a simple way to facilitate discussion about the value the service provides to customers, and what resources are needed to make it happen.

Long-term changes can encompass more than one project. Roadmaps provide a way to define and communicate a series of phases that may result in multiple projects, or a vision for future features for a given solution.

For more on proposing and planning projects, see:

Need help getting started? Request a consultation from the EA team.

Design a Solution 🧩

Today a solution usually is not just a system, consists of multiple facets including technology, business processes, information, and people. To identify the best solution, several approaches build understanding of these facets:

  • Systems Diagrams help you understand the context of existing systems.
  • Business Process Mapping is a common way to build shared understanding of how value is delivered today and what challenges a solution needs to address.
  • Capability Mapping identifies what the organization needs to be able to do to succeed, which clarifies the gaps to be addressed by a solution.
  • Conceptual Data Modeling defines the high level data entities and relationships the solution will need to work with.
  • User Experience Mapping provides deeper understanding of user needs to help you ensure people will want to adopt the proposed solution.

The solution will likely also become part of a service to deliver value long-term. A Business Model Canvas (or specifically a Service Model Canvas) is a simple way to facilitate discussion about the value the service provides to customers, and what resources are needed to make it happen.

Before committing to a solution, your stakeholders may need to look at the larger context — what factors are driving change for us, and what outcomes do we want to achieve? The Strategy on a Page method provides a simple way to facilitate this type of discussion.

Need help getting started? Request a consultation from the EA team.

Last reviewed September 24, 2019