Enterprise Solutions for Enterprise Architect: Model Driven Delivery - #1 Delivery



Published
Modeling in Enterprise Architect is not just fun - it's got to have a purpose. It's quite possible for modelers to get lost in the modeling and completely lose focus on what they're trying to deliver and for whom. So we think about delivery first before we go anywhere near modeling.

Asking people outside the modeling team what they want can be frustrating. They've never experienced this idea of putting all this business knowledge into one model and being able to look at it and slice it and dice it from different angles before, so they don't know what they want - or they certainly don't know what's possible.

One thing is for sure - they will keep changing their mind all the time and so there's always more information that's needed, and this is particularly true at the sort of fuzzier end of the deliverables where it's insights and ideas and opportunities and stuff. There's always opportunities for more data.

As an example, in this project the first deliverable wanted was a document. The good thing about documents that you have to deliver is that you can usually get a copy of an old one and use it to work out the minimum set of content for your model in order to produce the document.
Starting like this, you won't give deep insights to the business straight away, but you will show progress. And you will produce something that people will recognise,

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Challenges in delivery:
1. Figuring out WHAT your stakeholders need, then
2. HOW to deliver it. And
3. WHERE to find all the content that is needed - in the model, or from outside?

WHAT your stakeholders need will cover a wide range of possible deliverables. From specific documents which need to be signed off for projects - where the contents are defined and predictable. To hard-to-define knowledge that can help to identify opportunities - complex outputs, lots of data and fewer customers. Much more open-ended, but with higher potential business value.

Several options in HOW to deliver... Either give people access to the model directly (bad idea), or use the model to generate the spreadsheet and Word documents they are used to - using EA native function, or the Office Integration add-in, or eaDocX. Or give them web access to a curated personalised dashboard of EA content through Prolaborate.

WHERE will the content come from? And how will it be imported into the model? From spreadsheets? From workshops? From other systems? And where will it be mastered? Important decisions to make early in the process.

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DELIVERY Activities required:
a) Get the delivery requirements (these will define the meta-model of the model contents you need) and the mechanism for your delivery.
b) invent some content
c) Try to create draft deliverables, and distribute to stakeholders
d) get feedback - about the format of the deliverable and the content
Start early, and repeat (many times) to get gradually closer to the finished article.
Don't wait until the end to create the deliverables, as if your model structure and content can't produce what's needed, making changes is difficult and time consuming.

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TOOLS and TECHNIQUES
Prolaborate - Complex to implement (web servers, firewalls, EA repository access, SSO...) and then the work of creating dashboards and curating different levels of access to different content for different stakeholders.. But once set up it's a friendly UI to share EA content with non-EA users.
And it has some Prolaborate-only visualisations of EA content.

Documents - everyone knows and is familiar with them - we're used to curating the contents and creating/distributing them, and all our stakeholders are familiar with the technology!

It's important to
- get familiar with what each solution can do
- keep it simple at the start
- don't try to change your project process to fit your tools - the tools should fit the process
- don't change the model to suit any one consumer - the model is for everyone.

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This is part of Ian's "Putting EA at the heart of your business" webinar presented at the EA Global Summit September 2022. For more information about the ideas presented, visit https://www.eadocx.com/ea-insight/putting-ea-at-the-heart-of-your-business/
Or email [email protected]
Category
Management
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