Yupp, it is now. Because there's an article about that on Forbes. Ok, seriously, did anyone have any delusions about EA being alive recently?

Let's face the reality - people are struggling to:

  • gather the requirements to build individual apps
  • re-create the as-is state of individual business processes (& write it down in maintainable form)
  • design the process that spans through more than 1 unit of their organization
  • manage the dependencies between activities performed within different workstreams

How in the hell could they design, document, maintain & evolve such a complex hell-of-a-thing like Enterprise Architecture?!

What usually happens is:

  • Eternal Chase - EA documents his perspective on as-is state: he chases the rabbit to keep the image up-to-date & he's not able to make any actual impact. A chronicler who doesn't add real value.
  • Lost Grimm Brother - EA lets go of his imagination: he designs, invents, re-thinks & re-models, but ... it's just a theory - he has no means to enforce anything, to overcome the inertia of what's already happening in the organization. Such a shame.
  • Don Quixote - EA is not able to comprehend the reality - it's either not documented at all or just too complex. He struggles, but in the end he's satisfied with the simplified, limited perspective he can't validate - it may not correspond the reality, but who would be able to verify that? :)
  • Felix Baumgartner - but this one remains on the stratosphere level, because he's too afraid to dive in: he remains on a very high level where he feels confortable at. What he says may make sense, but it's completely cut off the actual shaping of architecture on the ground level. There's no direct mapping connection between these two perspectives & the actual distance is too high to change it.

Honestly, I don't believe in designing the Enterprise Architecture. It's not possible, unless you start with a green field & a very simple organization in prospect. Enteprise Architecture ... happens.

In practice Enterprise Architecture is shaped by individual, non-coordinated efforts of service owners, business product owners, IT product owners, project managers, project sponsors - there's no individual / single EA team that could carry this burden alone.

And you? Have you met any EA who ...

  • ... had any impact on the organisation?
  • ... was able to add any value?
  • ... has made any difference?

P.S. I totally agree with all the statements (from the quoted article) about EA frameworks like TOGAF / Zachman. Especially with this (by Angelo Andreetto):

Frameworks are cocaine for executives – they give them a huge rush and then they move to the next framework.