Gartner’s 13 worst EA practices

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There has been a resurgence of enterprise architecture practices, and Gartner wants to make sure enterprises get it right this time. According to the research firm, enterprise architecture previously didn’t provide any business value and “crashed and burned” in 2012 is because organizations were not looking at the bigger picture. 

“Despite best efforts, many EA programs fall from “best practices” to “worst practices.” Enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders must be vigilant and navigate away from practices that sink EA efforts.” Gartner wrote in a post

The top 13 worst EA practices a organization can make are:

  1. Not linking business strategy and targeted business outcomes
  2. Confusing technical architecture with Enterprise Architecture
  3. Focussing on the current-state architecture first
  4. Excessive governance and overbearing assurance
  5. Creating a standard for everything
  6. Being engrossed in the art and language of EA instead of business outcomes
  7. Strict adherence to EA frameworks and industry reference models
  8. Adopting an “ivory tower” approach to EA
  9. Lack of continuous communication and feedback
  10. Restricting the EA team to IT resources only
  11. Lack of key performance metrics
  12. Purchasing an EA tool before understand the use cases and critical capabilities
  13. Thinking that EA is ever done

Saul Brand, senior director analyst at Gartner, points out if businesses look at the Gartner’s top 8 best practices to being successful at EA, governance and assurance doesn’t happen until step six. Thinking of EA as a form of guardrails is a “worst practice” because it makes EA a command and control practice when it should be more of a “center of higher knowledge and knowledge sharing.”

Another worst EA practice to point out is when organizations run out and buy a tool first. “There’s an old saying: ‘a fool with a tool is still a fool,’” said Brand. Clients who run out and buy a tool first become obsessed with integrating and implementing it. “They forget the real purpose of enterprise architecture is that value proposition.”

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