Adrian Grigoriu, zaterdag 06 maart 2010
"If you have ever watched a house being built, or if you have ever had an addition put onto an existing house, you know that the standard method of communication is a big piece of paper called a blueprint. Blueprinting is the standard method used to copy large architectural and construction drawings. A blueprint used to consist of white lines on a blue background. A more recent process uses blue lines on a white background." (from here).
The blueprint is designed by the architect and used by the plumber, electrician, owner, potential buyer... It comes with guidance documentation, when necessary. A plan of transformation is the result of strategy executed as (a portfolio of) projects transforming the blueprint components.
The blueprint reflects the structure that changes in time with its purpose. The architecture could be classic or baroque, depending on the architectural style. The relationship between structure and its purpose is shaped by the architectural style.
Similarly, the EA blueprint is not static. It should be constantly updated to reflect the change in structure result of all on-going projects in an Enterprise. That may not always happen but this is the role of the EA architect.
The EA blueprint is the base of all conversations on changing the structure to fit the purpose or fitness for purpose, maintenance, renovation and transformation. It should be the basis of change in the Enterprise, be it operational, tactical or strategical. Without a blueprint, the transformation cannot be properly managed; the Enterprise would grow organically until a point when nothing works properly any longer and its decay starts.
The EA, as a blueprint, should be seen as the cornerstone of any Enterprise transformation, as a strategy, as in the title of a well known but less practical EA book.
But the core of any EA development is the framework, i.e. its meta-architecture.The framework is the glue between components and artifacts. Without a good framework, there is no navigation between artifacts and their components.
Adrian PS: you may find on this blog a good list of EA book reviews http://www.angryarchitect.com/