Lecturing on EA @ BCIT – Rethinking my Approach

by | January 26, 2010

Tonight, I had the privilege of being a guest lecturer on Enterprise Architecture for a class at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. My colleague Brian Hosier invited me to give an overview of EA for his students.

I had to do some serious chopping of my 2 hour workshop to get things down to a manageable timeframe. Even then, I felt extremely rushed and barely skimmed the surface of all that Enterprise Architecture is.  The class went well and I got great questions from the students.  I hope this short introduction to EA helped some of them think about the big picture.

As I was presenting, I realized how much our EA practices are IT influenced. This is a natural thing being that we grew EA out of IT and IT is where it primarily resides. As I presented some of the artifacts we developed, it became apparent that I need to rethink how to present EA to newbies. After a bit of theory and overview, I presented how EA can be applied strategically, tactically and then a bit on business architecture.  The problem was that for each area except Business Architecture, my examples were very technology focused.

I will make time to review my course material to see how to restructure it to better communicate the complete breadth of Enterprise Architecture.  Perhaps reviewing my notes from the Carnegie Mellon Certified Enterprise Architect program I completed in 2009 will help.  I need to find more examples of artifacts that are more people and process oriented.  In today’s fiscal climate, perhaps more focus on cost savings by focusing on managing complexity and its impact on organizations.

5 thoughts on “Lecturing on EA @ BCIT – Rethinking my Approach

  1. Mridul

    HI Leo,
    Just curious to know, how do you identify and put across short term benefits of EA, if any. And what is the time window for short term benefits?


  2. LeodeSousa Post author

    Early in the development of our EA practice, I spent most of my time listening in on meetings where there were pictures on the whiteboard. After a few of these meetings, the technical experts just expected the EA (me) to be there and started asking my opinion and advice. The other big win was embedding EA reviews into our Project Management and Change Management Processes. We were able to influence decisions on technology adoption and in some cases stopped projects altogether because we already had something that did what was required.

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Enterprise Architecture in Higher Education » Lecturing on EA @ BCIT – Rethinking my Approach -- Topsy.com

  4. Allan Gillard

    Hi Leo,
    My view on this as an architect for over 15 years, and a developer before that, is that I would agree that much of Enterprise Architecture (EA) has a technical focus. I see that as a consequence of the increasing reliance on technology to enable the business to deliver its goods and services to its customers.
    Where EA is applied in an organisation tends to be centred around Projects – which makes sense since they are the change mechanism for taking an organisation from where they are today (the Current State), to where they want to be (the Target State). EA is about defining that Target State (across the Business, Information, Application and Technology domains) as determined by the Business Drivers and stated in the Business Strategy, and outlining the roadmap on how best to get there. The Business Strategy identifies the Business Objectives that are then assigned to Projects to deliver (the Demand Pipeline).
    Solution Architecture (SA) takes the roadmaps and applies them to the project objectives and constraints (Budget, Cost and Resources – the Supply Pipeline), and designs the solution in line with the specific project requirements.
    The solution is then developed and implemented by the project within the current operational and system management environment.
    The point is that EA is still an evolving practice when compared to the equivalent disicplines of Finance and HR – Finance has its roots going back to the 18th century, and HR practices dated from the late 19th century, while EA only really began in the 1960s.
    I would be interested if possible to get a copy of the notes from your presentation.

    1. Leo de Sousa Post author


      Thank you for the excellent insights and feedback. We do have a long way to go to get to the rigour that is demonstrated by Finance practices. Have you looked at what the Center for the Advancement of the Enterprise Architecture Practice (CAEAP) is up to. I have been working on a couple of chapters in the Professional Practice Guide. Here is the website http://caeap.org

      My presentation is too big to email but I can create a pdf to share with you.

      Cheers! Leo


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.