Skip to main content

Episode IV: A New Hope


Since the beginning of this academic year, I have taken on the full-time role to establish an Enterprise Architecture capability at the University.   For the past few months, I have been working out roles and relationships, principles and processes.  I have given presentations to several groups, first within IS and now moving beyond.  I have recruited an experience contractor to help the University along this new path.  And as the new calendar year begins, we are in the position to start producing results that people can see.

A key part of this role is communication – explaining what EA is about, listening to people’s concerns, sharing knowledge of resources new and old, discussing what needs to be done, and disseminating decisions.   I am reviving this blog as one strand of this communication.  Over the years, I have been a pretty poor blogger.  I haven’t always had things to say, and sometimes I have lacked the time to write them.  With the importance of communication in this new role, I hope to do better.

There are other channels besides this blog.  I am arranging regular meetings with other sections of IS, with the colleges, and with other support units.  There will be an Architecture Repository with links to resources – including high-level documents such as principles and architecture overviews, as well as more technical artefacts such as data models, interface descriptions, technology life-cycles, and procurement standards.  And I welcome any questions from anyone who wishes to know more or to raise a concern.

Architecture is a subject dear to my heart.  During my time as Head of Development Services I did try to introduce some architecture ideas and practices, which is very difficult to achieve with basically no funding. My new role, to which I am seconded for the current academic year, gives me the opportunity to put proper foundations in place.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2016 has been a good year

So much has happened over the last year with our Enterprise Architecture practice that it's hard to write a succinct summary.  For my day-to-day experience as enterprise architect, the biggest change is that I now have a team to work with.  This time last year, I was in the middle of a 12-month secondment to create the EA practice, working mainly on my own.  Now my post has been made permanent and I have recruited two members of staff to help meet the University's architectural needs.

I have spent a lot of the year meeting people, listening to their concerns and explaining how architecture can help them.  This communication remains vital, the absolute core of what we do and we will continue to meet people in this way.  We also talk to people in other Universities in order to learn from what they are doing and to share our own experience back.  A highlight in this regard was my trip to the USA last January.

Our biggest deliverable for the past year was the design of the data wa…

A new EA Repository

One of my goals since starting this job two years ago has always been to create a repository for architecture documents.  The idea is to have a central store where people can find information about the University's applications, data sources, business processes, and other architectural information.  This store will make it easier for us to explain our plans, to show the current state of the University's information systems, and to explain what Enterprise Architecture is all about.

It's taken a long time to reach this goal, mainly because we're often had more pressing and immediate work to be done.  The creation of a repository is one of those tasks that is very important but never quite urgent.  So I'm now very happy to say that we are in the process of deploying a repository and modelling tool.


This is the culmination of a careful process to select the most appropriate tool for our needs.  We began by organising several workshops to gather requirements from a rang…

New staff for the EA team

I'm delighted to welcome Jason Murphy, who joins us as our CRM Architect, and Wilbert Kraan, our new Data Architect.  Both Jason and Wilbert have worked as consultants for several years and bring new skills and considerable experience to IS.  They both know more than I do about their respective fields, which is how I like to hire people.

So the Enterprise Architecture practice now comprises the three of us, instead of me working on my won, which means we have more capacty to guide the University's IT architecture.  We can offer a greater range of skills and can bring a wider range of experience to bear.  I'm really excited about the opportunities this presents.

As his job title implies, Jason will focus on contact relationship management, working to build a user community and to create a strategy for managing and improving the University's relationships with prospective students, research partners, community organisations, and other parties - to give them all a better …