Thursday, August 23, 2012

EA Effectiveness and Process Standardization

@tdegennaro of @Forrester spotted an interesting correlation in his company's 2009 survey. "Survey respondents who reported a high degree of business and IT process standardization also reported that EA was more effective and more influential within the organization."

DeGennaro suggests "there must be something that standardization does to an organization — a window or door that it creates — that enables IT functions such as EA to get better at what they do".

Is EA Effectiveness At The Mercy Of Process Standardization? (July 2010)

But there is another possible explanation for this correlation. According to DeGennaro, Forrester has convinced most of its clients that process standardization is a keystone to effectiveness across all areas of IT. If many EA practitioners are single-minded about process standardization, it is hardly surprising if these practitioners will be less successful in those organizations where process standardization isn't appropriate. Ross, Weill and Robertson ("Enterprise Architecture as Strategy") are among those who argue against a one-size-fits-all approach to EA. See my post on Differentiation and Integration (May 2010).

Correlations arising from surveys need to be carefully interpreted, to avoid circular reasoning masquerading as objective fact. I am always wary of industry analysts who are over-dependent on opinion surveys from their own customers and think that something must be true because their customers have swallowed it.

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