Understanding the value that EA needs to deliver
The deliverables which your stakeholders are expecting to see will clearly differ massively between projects.
But in our experience, these seem to split roughly into three different types:
- Project-specific, which split further into:
- Deliverables which are for the internal use of the project team, for example, designs to be passed on to your developers
- Deliverables which are for external use, for example requirements documents to go back to stakeholders, or design documents intended for an external development team
- Cross-project deliverables, for example, a company-wide enterprise architecture.
Each of these deliverables is constrained in different ways:
- For the project-specific, internal deliverables we have some flexibility over how we deliver what’s needed – it’s our project.
- For the project-specific, external deliverables, we may be more constrained: certain stakeholders may demand their deliverables in specific formats, like a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet, which we might not be able to change.
- For cross-project deliverables, we may also have some flexibility over how we deliver. For example, if we are producing a company-wide Enterprise Architecture, we might be able to choose whether it’s delivered via a web site, a document, or a presentation.
But only when we understand
- what these deliverables are,
- what they need to contain, and
- who will consume them
..can we really make a start on Model Driven Delivery – otherwise, we don’t know where we’re driving towards.
You’d be amazed how many teams of modellers start out modelling, and only much later think about what the deliverables need to be, and how they will be produced. Understanding what those deliverables will be can itself be captured in a model. So if we need to deliver some User Stories, remember which stakeholders who are product managers for them, and link them both to our business goals, then these are some of the ‘things’ which our model must contain. This is the start of a ‘meta-model’ – which just means it’s a statement of what will be in the model.