Enterprise Architects have used roadmaps as a standard model to describe the transition from the current state architecture to the future state architecture. Many of my fellow enterprise architects have described the many different ways to create a roadmap and to show how they link to an organization’s strategic goals. Nick Malik (@nickmalik) wrote several articles on roadmaps if you want to get an overview:
Gene Leganza (@gleganza) asked this question on Twitter recently:
Do you find #entarch roadmaps uniquely valuable or are they just another tool in the toolbox? Discussion at http://ow.ly/fHPDg
@gleganza #entarch roadmaps provide us with a tangible place to discuss investment decision and to articulate change that supports our univ.
Gene followed up with a blog post to better illustrate his question, Roadmaps are more powerful when linked to business outcomes:
@chrisdpotts @leodesousa @DavidWLocke OK I wrote up a quick blog post to show a graphic for the kind of map I mean– http://ow.ly/fINd9
Looking at the roadmap diagram Gene posted, we can see a standard arrangement of Strategy and Business at the top and IT and technology on the bottom. I do like that Gene included People-Process-Organizational Structures. This architecture area appears at the bottom of the roadmap diagram. In some ways, this is a great location as everything our organizations rely on people. The last key component of the roadmap is that it reflects changes over time – a 3 year period.
Enterprise Architects can use this model to provide key stakeholders and executives with a picture of the planned work, how it links to business outcomes and what would need to change if new initiatives were introduced. I would like to see how we can drive these kind of diagrams from data. I am particularly interested in analyzing the risks in the project portfolios in the roadmap. I would also like to be able to link budgets to the roadmap. I know there are many high end EA modeling tools that can do some of this but with our limited higher education budgets, they are out of reach. I would be happy to hear any suggestions … open source tools perhaps?
In a subsequent post, I will describe a type of roadmap we use for a specfic project/initiative.