Having identified our desired future state architecture, we then start to create a current state architecture to add detail and richness to our roadmaps, undertake detailed gap analysis and, where required, comprehensive impact analysis.
In our last post, we covered how approaching the current state in this manner has significantly reduced the scope of current state analysis. This becomes important when you consider the interconnectivity of information.
In the diagram below, we can see the connections between Process, Organization, Location, Data, Application, Technology and Security, or POLDAT(S).
If customer satisfaction is identified as an outcome, and the implementation of a CRM system is a stated project, then we already have a lot of work to do in identifying all the POLDAT pieces that will be relevant to that implementation.
We cannot afford to waste time collecting information about processes that will not be impacted, or worrying about other systems that will not be connected with the CRM implementation. We do however want to gather as much information about the POLDAT pieces that will be impacted.
In this respect, architects that work with their data management colleagues will find that they can help extract relevant information from other data sources that will accelerate the creation of the current state architecture.
Organizations that adopt the “just enough just in time” enterprise architecture approach, to current state architecture, and capture both current and future state architectures in a common tool, will reach a point where the entire enterprise architecture of their organization is captured and documented – without adding overhead to projects.
As we can see, there are faster ways to create relevant current state architecture. You don’t have to start with a blank page, but when you do start:
a) Question all current state activities being undertaken and consider scaling them back if they cannot help achieve a desired future state that is linked to a business outcome.
b) Consider employing a common enterprise architecture tool, with a focus on its repository and data connectivity capabilities. Ensure that the tool can automatically create views from the data you populate it with and that it supports multiple concurrent users.
c) Produce impact and gap analysis reports before detailed diagrams, as most decisions are taken based on grids, tables and reports. It is often only the solution designers and technical architects that actually need the wiring diagrams we normally associate with enterprise architecture.