SIN 874-1 CONSULTING SERVICES
The Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 recommends reengineering a business process, prior to automating it. EAI has successfully extended Dr. Steven Spewak’s Enterprise Architecture Planning methodology for data, systems and technology, to include the planning of Business Reengineering (BRE), Business Process Redesign (BPR) and Business Process Improvement (BPI) Projects. The resulting plan, a Strategic Information Management Plan (SIMP™) is a fully integrated suite of actionable project plans. It aligns information systems projects and business process redesign projects with the business initiatives of an Agency's strategic plan.
EAI's methodology guides Agencies to reorganize and equip themselves with the necessary BRE planning process. The strategic planning team documents and analyzes the enterprise's business processes, or value streams, and assesses their costs and their value.
Integration of EAP’s plans in support of Business Initiatives
EAI 's methods put a process in place enabling the Agency team to estimate the benefit of reengineering, the cost and the risk exposure to the enterprise. To ensure coordination among business re-engineering efforts and the IT projects in support of the same process, EAI teaches the Agency team how to correlate the Information Technology and Automation needs of the anticipated to-be processes with the Automation and Technology projects of the IT organization. As a result, the agency's leadership will be provided with:
- A management tool: a comprehensive set of coordinated plans, with a well balanced allocation of Human and Financial resources to projects that best benefit the enterprise.
- A process: institutionalized across the agency, to adjust the plan and its resource allocation dynamically as new business initiatives dictate.
Planning Initiation Consulting
Diligent preparation is required before an Enterprise Architecture Planning (EAP) project gets underway. The purpose of the Planning Initiation phase is to organize and plan an EAP project, and to put all of the ingredients for success into place. A team of the most experienced EAI consultants will determine a good scope for the EAP project (organizationally and functionally), create a clear vision of the future that serves as the general target, specify the qualifications for each of the roles on the project team, identify and evaluate the qualifications of candidate participants, adapt the EAP methodology for each client’s situation, develop a list of deliverables, and estimate the effort and duration of each step to prepare a work plan for the project.
Strategic Business Assessment, Visioning, and Planning
For organizations that lack a well defined and accepted strategic business plan, a Strategic Assessment sets the stage for effective planning by providing a vision that drives strategic planning, budgeting, service management, as well as the EAP process. Employing a proven formal methodology, the strategic assessment results in both high-yielding, short-term quick-fixes and practical long-term recommendations. The strategic assessment may precede the EAP or be conducted concurrently with the early phases of EAP. The topics in the strategic assessment include Mission Analysis, Customer Perceptions, Competitive Industry Analysis, Internal Strengths and Weaknesses, Vision of Future Business Operations, Strategic Initiatives, Products/Services, and their Technological Implications, Current Situation vs. Tomorrow, Organizational Recommendations, Skill Set and Staffing Recommendations, Financial/Investment Strategy, Management Process Implications, and Systems Management Recommendations.
The business model of EAP explicitly links the architectures with business plans, and in doing so makes the accountability for achieving objectives and making decisions explicit and public.
Formulation of Principles
Effective governments are founded on principles, laws, and statutes that apply to everyone. Similarly, there must be principles, architectures, and standards for managing information.
Merely having a principles document is not sufficient. Principles must be practical and provide actual guidance in Information Management related decision-making. EAP will formulate one set of well-written principles for the enterprise to ensure the consistency of the architectural and planning decisions. EAI consultants have experience managing this highly political phase of EAP, and will cut through cultural barriers that prevent executive management from formally ratifying the principles. The principles document will explain the rationale for each principle explicitly stating the derivation from fundamental business values. The changes and impact to the organization and its business practices are elaborated at length. EAI will recommend a strategy for the ratification of the principles, and formulate an on-going procedure for amending the principles.
"Inter-Enterprise" Project Coordination
Large government agencies may be comprised of multiple operating agencies or "enterprises," each conducting their own Strategic Information Management Projects (SIMP™), perhaps according to different planning methods. However, there often is much in common about the information management in each enterprise, and there is the potential for tremendous gains from leveraging that commonality.
EAI has developed the process and the tools to research and analyze the applications and technologies that independent projects are scheduled to implement. We assist with the development of an information architecture containing baseline data, and required process, automation and infrastructure capabilities. We provide the processes to develop and compare strategies to benefit from work being done in projects in organizations across the Enterprise. EAI has the framework that helps clients to gain insight in their issues, make corrective plans, develop architectures, and convert them into practical plans.
EAI’s services execute the MOBIS objectives by providing a clear statement of goals, objectives, and strategies upon which long range systems and technology plans will be based.
On-Going Periodic Reviews and Briefings
When completed successfully, the EAP process establishes an implementation plan for the architectures. Periodically, EAI can conduct a review of (a) the progress of the implementation, (b) the conformance of the designs to the architectures, (c) the conformance of standards and procedures to the principles, (d) the alignment of the designs and architectures with the business vision and strategies, (e) unforeseen implementation issues and obstacles, and (f) the coordination and conformance with other business or EAP initiatives. Each periodic review would be about 2 - 3 days if conducted quarterly and 5 days if conducted semiannually.
SIN 874-2 FACILITATION SERVICES
Developing and implementing IT Management and Governance processes in an organization is not rocket science. But it’s hard work. It’s a myriad of details and it requires a dedicated team. Building this team, guiding the team through the details of the process, and doing the hard work alongside them is what EAI’s facilitation is about.
EAI’s focus throughout the project will be to ensure that the final recommendation for the reengineered process is of high quality, one hundred percent developed by the Agency’s team, absolutely credible, and accepted by management. Typically, the team members individually are highly experienced, qualified and respected in the organizations they represent, but they may have limited experience in information management processes, and they have not operated in a team environment for six to twelve months. EAI will literally build a high-performing team, train them in new tasks and procedures and provide guidance based upon experience form other government or commercial projects. EAI’s facilitation will ensure that the team delivers a high quality Strategic Information Management Plan on time and within budget.
EAI’s facilitators are versed in addressing the psychological factors that play a role in the life cycle of a team. For example, we are fully aware that often a team experiences a breakdown before breakthrough to greater performance. EAI recognizes the experience as legitimate, helpful to the projects, and guides the team through it.
Enterprise Architecture Planning (EAP) Project - Team Facilitation
This is the primary support task for EAP, covering every aspect of the methodology through the final report and presentation. EAI’s consultants are experts at facilitating EAP team meetings, discussions, and presentations. Most importantly, the techniques and guidelines for EAP foster out-of-the-box creative thinking, the key ingredient for devising innovative solutions.
EAI facilitators bring techniques for constantly adjusting the EAP work plan, and templates for the deliverables. With years of experience on similar engagements, we understand the criteria for high quality business models and architectures. Several levels of team facilitation and consulting support can be provided by EAI. They vary from part-time oversight to full-time facilitation and working along the team as a team member.
Institutionalize EAP (InstEAPTM) project – Team Facilitation
The development of an IT capital investment process follows standard phases in business process redesign. Initiate the project, assess the current situation, reengineer and pilot the process, and implement the reengineered process. Whereas the EAP project constitutes primarily the reengineer and pilot aspect of the new IT capital investment process, InstEAP or Institutionalize EAP is the implementation component of the redesign project. EAI will facilitate all phases of the implementation.
Project Direction, Quality and Progress Reviews and Briefings
EAI provides periodic guidance and recommendations for the overall direction of an EAP project. This is a part-time role, conducted by the partner-level EAI consultants. The activities include:
- reviewing project deliverables for quality,
- evaluating the rate of project progress against the work plan,
- suggesting solutions to the myriad of problems and issues that arise, and
- presenting a status briefings to the champion and executive sponsor together with our findings and recommendations.
These reviews and briefings typically coincide with major milestones. The aim is to bring one phase of EAP to a successful conclusion and to initiate the next one to the point where the team is confident of proceeding on its own to the next milestone.
SIN 874-3 SURVEY SERVICES
Although EAI’s surveys are primarily conducted in support of its reengineering of an Agency’s IT Planning and Capital Investment process, its surveys are excellent assessment instruments in their own right.
To begin with, we recommend that an organization assess the probability of successfully finishing such a reengineering project, or successfully implementing an Enterprise Architecture Plan. The tool used in this case is a Strategic Readiness Assessment. EAI has developed a very effective survey to gather the data for the readiness assessment.
EAI uses two other types of surveys in support of its core business. An Enterprise Survey to gather information of the business of the enterprise to form the basic understanding, or more precisely, the on-record consensus agreement of the vision, mission, and activities of the enterprise. The understanding is used to develop the systems and technology capabilities necessary to support the business and to prioritize their implementation. A third type of survey covers the Technology facts-on-the-ground situation of an organization.
To develop a sound migration strategy towards a desired target Technology Architecture, an accurate baseline needs to be established of technologies currently in place and of investments currently being made in technology improvements. This Technology Survey also assesses the degree to which workers across the enterprise are engaged, legitimately but unaccounted for, in development of systems to aid in their work. Finally, the Technology Survey will research the positions the market and the industry is taking with respect to technology products and standards. These Technology Position Statements are used as guidance for the selection of our Client’s technology standards. The survey process is discussed in more detail.
Introduction to the Survey Process
In general, EAI’s business is about assisting government agencies with streamlining their Information Management related decision processes. EAI’s surveys provide management with insight whether there is indeed a fertile ground for such a risk-prone business reengineering effort.
EAI has extensive experience in developing these surveys. Drawing on a collection of sample formats, we work together with the agencies to tailor the surveys to their particular needs. EAI facilitates, for its clients, all aspects of survey design. This includes articulating clear and concise objectives, sizing the target audience and their distribution over the varied functions of the enterprise, deciding survey methods: individual or collective interviews, or questionnaires. When an agency is under time pressure or has cost constraints, EAI may recommend developing a hypothesis first, and tailoring the survey to prove or disprove the hypothesis. Survey design also decides the collection and analysis methods.
Survey Training and Dry Run
Often surveys are conducted through individual and group interviews. EAI will train the members of a Client’s team in conducting the interview. Trial interviews are set and follow-up assessments are provided. For questionnaire based surveys, a test group will be selected, and a pilot survey will be conducted with the test group with the surveyors observing. Observations will be discussed and the survey questions and instructions will be modified to incorporate lessons learned. The data collection methods will be tested and we will conduct a "dry-run" to ensure that the collected data can support the desired analysis. The cost estimate to conduct the survey will be validated and re-affirmed.
Conducting the Survey
We ensure that the Team conducting the survey benefits from our experience and when administering the Survey, we work along side them. This includes conducting personal interviews, facilitating group interviews, collecting the data, and reviewing the data for accuracy and completeness. EAI will oversee the data entry of the survey data in the EAP Toolset, or any other analysis tool used by its Clients.
To safeguard the credibility of the survey, we will make sure that interviewees get a copy of the interview write-up and are given an opportunity to correct or to clarify the statements. Surveys that require anonymity or interviews that require non-attribution will be treated with the utmost respect for confidentiality. Often the Research and Analysis will point out gaps in the information or a weakness in the support of a hypothesis. In that case EAI will develop additional collections or follow-up interviews to correct the problem.
Research and Analysis
EAI will guide the Client Team with the analysis of the raw data. The results are reported from the database, tabulated, and presented in graphical format. The data is interpreted and presentations are developed to communicate the findings to management.
SIN 874-5 SUPPORT PRODUCTS
EAI has developed a Toolset, which is an Access based tool used to document the work products of each of the phases of an Enterprise Architecture Planning project. It is based on Microsoft Office and uses Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Project in an integrated fashion. The Access database contains over 150 tables to record the output of the various phases of an EAP project. It includes tables to record the principles, the business model and the current systems and technology, as well as tables to document the architecture, the data architecture, the applications architecture, the technology architecture, and the projects of the implementation plan.
The tool follows the steps of the EAP process and provides forms that guide the team through the analysis of the enterprise's business. The Access database contains relationships in the forms of matrices between the data objects and the business objects and between the data objects and the applications. These matrices are exported to Excel spreadsheets to aid in the process of scoring and prioritization of applications. The resulting score and sequence, from the spreadsheet, can be accessed back into the database to preserve the sequence for further analyses. Since the tool uses a relational database, this insures that each piece of the information need only be entered once. This proves to be a tremendous help when the definition and the relationship of the objects are changed repeatedly throughout the project. Any changes are immediately propagated to all reports, documents and relationships that the objects participate in. The projects of the final recommendation can be exported to Microsoft Project to generate Gantt and Pert charts to aid in the project management.
This tool supports the various surveys that are conducted to support the analysis, including subject matter excerpts about the business processes, user surveys about existing systems and the technician surveys about the technology architecture. Electronic survey forms are generated directly from the Toolset. The forms returned in electronic format can be read and interpreted by the software.
MS Access Based Toolset Templates (1997 version)
This is a fully functional EAP Toolset that supports the activities described in Dr. Spewak's book, Enterprise Architecture Planning, Developing a Blueprint for Data, Applications and Technology. It enables a team to document the outcome of their business modeling activities, to generate reports on the functional decomposition, and to distribute them for review. It supports the capturing, the cross-referencing, and the analysis of the data architecture, the application architecture, and the technology architecture. (The survey support and interface to MS project in not available in this version.)
MS Access Based Toolset Templates (Full version)
This Toolset has all of the capabilities of the 1997 version, but adds more features around project definition, correlating projects, and cross referencing projects to the capabilities that they will put into place. It helps agencies to comply with the Clinger - Cohen Act, in that the tool supports the documentation of the as-is processes and cross-references them to the activities that support the projects. The toolset accommodates one additional architecture: Process Architecture, which is the equivalent of the to-be process or the best practices that the enterprise wants to put into place. The tool supports the integrated planning of Business Reengineering projects, Automation projects (System Development projects), and Technology Service projects. It also generates the Gantt charts, at the strategic level, for those projects.
Alliance Partner Products
The teaming of EAI with its Alliance Services Partners provides world-class advanced methodologies, tools, practical experience, vast technical and people knowledge that is unparalleled in our industry. EAI has practical CIO level management experience, backed by its proven, published methodology which when combined with the world-class subject and implementation expertise of our Alliance Services Partners provides solutions that are guaranteed to be best-of-breed and tailored to your unique issues. Companies that we have worked together with in the past or are working with right now are:
- Teagarden Consulting Services, Inc.: The teaming of Teagarden Consulting Services and EAI provides our clients with expertise in the areas of business planning and performance, internal infrastructures, planning and control of internal processes, and fiscal responsibility. This team also provides professionals who are experienced in networking. From Novell® to WindowsNT specification, qualification, establishment and support are only a small part of the systems support provided.
- Systems Development, Inc: Systems Development, Inc. (SDI) - SDI's expertise in Commercial web site development as well as it's extensive knowledge and experience in database utilization affords EAI the knowledge and cutting edge developmental tools to produce Dynamic Hyper-text (Web) based interactive products both quickly and efficiently.
- t-worx: A leading provider of web design and development to fit every budget. From start-up businesses to established corporations, their solutions are market-savvy and add value to your organization. t-worx is committed to helping their clients strengthen their business through strategic planning and exemplary design. Intelligent and passionate, t-worx's approach results in fresh, targeted design that adds marketing value to your business.
- 2M Software Associates: An Information Technology firm providing outsourcing and IT-enabled solutions for businesses, thereby shrinking the cost and time associated with projects. Their proposition is purely value-added and they provide an unconditional guarantee towards our products and services. Their Programming Services include over a decade of experience in which they have created a large network of Information Systems professionals who can be available for your project in a moment's notice. In addition to their existing staff, they have access to over 3000 professionals with experience in an array of programming tools and platforms.
- PIEAI: Partners in EAI is an umbrella organization that brings together several boutique specialty companies in the EA space. They assist clients in turning architectures and organization change plans into practical implementable projects that reflect the reality of what the organization needs to deliver. PIEAI will work with each agency to transform the organization, to scope and sequence the policies, procedures, and standards, as well as the personnel and training required in starting an Enterprise on its path to the future.
- SpringHill Consulting: A woman owned company that has brought toether an extrodinary team of IT specialists to help their clients manage information more effectively and at a lower cost. SpringHill Consulting delivers IT solutions that reflect both their understanding of a client company’s business process and their ability to choose and implement the appropriate technology. With an experienced in-house staff, SpringHill can provide services ranging from individual consultants performing specific functions to cohesive project teams or completely outsourced IT management.