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 (SIMPTM) is a fully integrated suite of actionable project plans. It aligns information systems projects and business process redesign projects with the business initiatives of the strategic plan.
EAI's methodology assists Corporations to 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 an enterprise 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 planning team how to correlate the Information Technology and Automation needs of the reengineered processes with the Automation and Technology projects of the IT organization.
As a result, the company’s executive committee 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 enterprise, 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 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 Corporations and government agencies may be comprised of multiple operating units or "enterprises," each conducting their own Strategic Information Management (SIMPTM), 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.
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.
Although EAI’s surveys are primarily conducted in support of its reengineering of a Company’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 below in more detail.
Introduction to the Survey Process
In general, EAI’s business is about assisting an enterprise 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 Companies 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 a company 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.