Archive for May, 2010

Enterprise Architecture Good Practices Guide

If you’ve read any of Schekkerman’s other books this will have a familiar feel to it and it’s not just the cover design. But don’t let that put you off. This isn’t just a rehash of previous books. It’s the development, refinement, collation and summation of a whole body of work from IFEAD, some of which has been presented in previous books.

Without labouring the point; and let’s be honest here far too many architects like to labour for too long over the arcane, Schekkerman has produced a very useful volume. In it’s own words it ” focuses on EA maturity, processes, results, frameworks, methods, tools, roles and responsibilities”. It even manages to touch on issues like stakeholder management and offers a pretty comprehensive eleven aspect maturity model. That even if you don’t agree with the MM  concept you have to concede has some merits.

This is a cohesive set of ideas on EA obviously developed with considerable dedication and attention to detail. There is always the danger of such works being afflicted by intellectual myopia, particularly when penned by self proclaimed thought leaders. Refreshingly however, Schekkerman is not impervious to the ideas of others. He seems quite happy to appropriate and incorporate proven established ideas; a trait that I’m always on the look out for. There really is no single source of truth.

This book is @ 380 pages with plenty of diagrams and focused tightly written paragraphs, which unfortunately all too often degenerate into bullet points. You just know that there’s more to be told. But, then the book would be 3800 pages! So, I guess it’s a pretty good compromise.

This book claims to be for Enterprise Architects, managers and C level executives. I’d go further and suggest that all architects can learn something from this book. This is a good book to start your library with more rigorous and less SDLC centric than most and more accessible than many  of the “Euro” architecture books. Recommended.

Schekkerman, Jaap 2008, Enterprise Architecture Good Practices Guide,Trafford Publishing, Victoria, British Columbia

ISBN 142515687-8

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Enterprise Architecture Best Practice Handbook

I can’t deny it I was shocked when I received my copy of this book. It’s a big soft back book 30 x 21 cms but only 120 pages.

And the claims on the back cover “This books covers every detail”, that’s a big claim I thought. It goes on “Professional resources and underlying technology are provided in detail.” But, they are big pages, perhaps there’s a lot of small print, I thought. You can’t imagine my disappointment when I discovered that the first 67 pages look like screen prints of three Powerpoint presentations! My first reaction was how much did I pay for this? At $5 it would have been too much!

The three presentations you’ll get for your money are Establishing Federated IT Architectures, 36 slides with bullet point notes and pointers to the second half of the book. A tutorial on the Zachman Framework, 13 slides with practically no notes. And a 10 slide Executive Overview that wouldn’t fool Mickey Mouse. To add insult to injury the slides aren’t even color, wouldn’t scan well so if you wanted to use them you’d have to recreate your own version (ready for use?); if you’re that desperate give up now you’ll never make an EA. What’s more they don’t even have a consistent style!

The second part of the “Handbook” appears to be five or six first year papers on architecture, none of which are more than superficial and some of which; you guessed it are mostly bullet points, widely spaced in large font with no consistent style, doesn’t inspire confidence.

D for content, F for price and A for stating the obvious.

Handley, Jeff 2008, Enterprise Architecture Best Practice Handbook

ISBN who cares!

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