I'm always trying to explain what enterprise architecture is, and why I feel it's important. Sometimes it's just to explain it to people who ask me what I do for a living, but often it's to sell EA to decision makers within my organization.
Long and detailed explanations are often out of the question. Most succinct answers don't help. I need to convey a few key things, but they're concepts that are often mind-bending for those who have not been previously exposed, or those who are caught in a different paradigm.
This diagram is my latest attempt to bridge the gap of EA understanding (click it for a full sized image). It could use some work... but it's the most succinct diagram of the subject that I could manage. A possible exception would be Enterprise Architecture = Enterprise Planning... but most people don't seem to fully grasp or accept that.
Comments are welcome as always.
The main thing I think many people miss is the place of EA in the organization. Many people think that it's about doing technology, or doing technology better. And while thats true to a point, they don't quite get the high-level up-front, if you will -- Enterprise, nature of the thing. I always try to explain that it's much more about planning projects and setting directions than about implementing the technology itself.
Well, that said, as an architect my first inclination with propblem solving and communication is to draw something. Hopefully this will move my clients closer to the target state of better EA understanding.