Talk:Enterprise architecture/Archive 3

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Wholesale rewrite of article to one point of view

I'm writing this while a single Wikipedia editor is busy making changes to the article, removing the Neutral Point of View focus of the article and moving it to a single point of view: that of the US Government. This is a fundamentally flawed approach and violates Wikipedia policies for achieving a neutral point of view. It also flies in the face of modern Enterprise Architecture practice, thus dramatically reducing the overall value of the article. As soon as the current set of changes are done, I will endeavor to discover all valid information added in the process and capture it, then revert the entire article to the prior version, and add back in the valid additional information. Nickmalik (talk) 21:51, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

In an effort to capture the updated main section of the article rewrites performed by Matthew Kern, I copied his text here. I will revert the article in a few minutes.

Enterprise architecture (EA) is a term first used in print in NIST SP 500-167 [1](a US Federal Government Document from the National Institute of Standards and Technology) in 1989. It is currently a mandatory practice in the US Federal Government: OMB Circular A-130[2] describes enterprise architecture and subordinate activities in some detail, in response to the Clinger Cohen Act [3](IT Management Reform Act) of 1996 mandatory requirement for government organizations (enterprises) to have an "IT architecture". The term has subsequently (after first use in 1989 by the US Federal Government) been used in foreign governments and in commercial practice.


According to the U.S. Federal Government: "An EA is the explicit description and documentation of the current and desired relationships among business and management processes and information technology. It describes the "current architecture" and "target architecture" to include the rules and standards and systems life cycle information to optimize and maintain the environment which the agency wishes to create and maintain by managing its IT portfolio. The EA must also provide a strategy that will enable the agency to support its current state and also act as the roadmap for transition to its target environment. These transition processes will include an agency's capital planning and investment control processes, agency EA planning processes, and agency systems life cycle methodologies. The EA will define principles and goals and set direction on such issues as the promotion of interoperability, open systems, public access, compliance with GPEA, end user satisfaction, and IT security. The agency must support the EA with a complete inventory of agency information resources, including personnel, equipment, and funds devoted to information resources management and information technology, at an appropriate level of detail."[4]

Nickmalik (talk) 04:38, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Revert complete. I formally request the start to a BRD cycle and invite all interested parties to discuss potential changes. Note that the list of university programs in EA, researched by Mr. Kern, has been added back into the article are verifiable and appropriate content. The list of frameworks, on the other hand, was an incomplete copy of information already available on the Enterprise Architecture framework page and was not added back in. As the framework page discusses the history of various frameworks, I would expect to see the paragraph (above) citing the initiation of the field to be merged with that page. Nickmalik (talk) 05:04, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

I agree with the changes that Nick Malik has made here. Reverting back to the original EA definition for this article is more readable, more succinct, and supports the Neutral Point of View. Kylegabhart (talk) 05:50, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

cleanup - moving content to other WP pages

There was a good deal of extra content on this main page that is reasonably covered in other EA related pages. I specifically moved the content on the Architectural Domains to the TALK page of the Architecture Domains Wikipedia page, where that content can be used to improve that page. Similarly, the information on the Software Architecture framework was moved to the TALK page of the EA Framework page. An editor of that page can decide whether to integrate that content or to move it further to the Solution Architecture TALK page, either place where it would be a more appropriate fit than in this page. Nickmalik (talk) 09:07, 14 December 2011 (UTC)


Improper Reversion

This particular article is tagged as having insufficient citations and references, as not verifiable, since 2008. The situation has occurred because much of the posted content is opinion. I provided a large dose of verifiable fact which is not liked by some other editors.

Much of the opinion may be driven by those with commercial interest in an incorrect definition for the purpose of selling professional services. BRD and reversions are officially not for the purpose of removing content you do not like, but are for removing incorrect or unverifiable content such as has been recently restored.

We can enter into a BRD cycle if others can provide verifiable content. More unsupported opinion is not desirable. I will remind the other editors that I am certified and hold masters certificates in this specific field, as well as having decades of experience thus I do know the difference between truth and fallacy, and I will offer a high degree of respect to others who can provide the verifiable cited facts.

MatthewFordKern (talk) 15:03, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for responding, Mr. Kern. My name is Nick Malik. I am glad to meet you. It is OK for you to refer to me by name if that would make you feel more comfortable. I look forward to collaborating with you on this article.
I want to start by stating that I honor your desire to place verifiable content onto the EA page. It is important for the credibility and reliability of the Wikipedia article on Enterprise Architecture for this page to cite verifiable sources. As you can see, the page as it sits today has fifteen (15) references from a broad range of sources. They include references to the MIT Center for Information Systems Research, Merkala, US Government OMB, and Forrester. I added a reference to PragmaticEA (an open source framework) the other day in order to capture the goal of EA. On the date when that tag was added, there was a single reference to ArchitectureFramework.com, hardly a reasonable resource. At the time, there was also an Edit War going on dealing with a small set of folks determined to create links to a software package called "Enterprise Architect" from Sparx Systems. While it is a fine UML tool, it took quite a while before the community reached consensus that it was not appropriate to link the Wikipedia article to any reference to that commercial tool. Alas.
If you and I can go through the existing article and discuss any element that is not verifiable by a reputable source, we can remove it, find a reference for it, or reword it to make it align better with published sources. Once we have done so, I believe we can safely remove that tag.
I would like to state, however, that I would expect that revisions to this page would meet all of the Wikipedia pillars, not just verifiability. That includes the goals of: Neutral Point Of View, No Original Research, Verifiability, Reliable Sources and Style. While the FEAF material is certainly useful when it comes to citing for references, we have to make sure that we are making references to many sources, and not be focused on a single combination of: geography (USA), level (Federal), organization type (Government), or stakeholder motivation (Compliance). To focus on that single combination would be to lose the neutral point of view.
I don't know if I can assure you, successfully, that I have no agenda when it comes to selling software or services. While I am employed at Microsoft, and my company does offer services targeted at Enterprise Architecture, I want to assure you that my role within Microsoft is not associated with those services in any direct way. In other words, neither myself personally, nor my organization, is rewarded for making sales or promoting a particular engagement or method of performing Enterprise Architecture. Microsoft does not sell an EA methodology and the company does not recommend any one framework. My team inside Microsoft has not adopted any one framework, preferring to assemble best of breed from various frameworks (including FEAF, TOGAF, Gartner/Meta, Zachman, and a variety of Business Architecture analysis and improvement techniques). I am an Enterprise Architect with one customer: Microsoft itself. In that respect, I stand before you as a working EA, who is concerned with the methods, models, and practices needed to perform this function rationally in a very large, chaotic, somewhat disruptive multi-national commercial organization. My viewpoint, expressed in any Wikipedia page, is my own and is not necessarily aligned with that of my employer.
So, to wrap up, please let me know which passages in the current text where you feel we should address the referencability of the material. I'm sure we can come to a common understanding.

Nickmalik (talk) 01:10, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

One additional note: when I made the decision to revert your edits, I sought insight from the community first. I did not take the action lightly. In five years of editing Wikipedia, this was the first time I've ever reverted a complete set of changes. Before doing this, I asked for feedback both on my blog and on LinkedIn's Enterprise Architecture Network. You are free to examine the feedback I received in both places. The blog entry is here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/nickmalik/archive/2011/12/14/10247377.aspx
From Social Media, I have received 15 public written responses and one private one (total of 16). Fourteen responses were in direct support of reverting the article (87%). (One opposed and one sarcastic remark was ignored). I believe that this indicates a strong level of support from the EA community to address your concerns in a slightly less radical manner than by replacing large portions of text.
I look forward to working this out. If the opportunity comes for us to meet in person, I'd like to buy you a beer (or libation of your choice), and share a few choice stories of life in the EA trenches.

Nickmalik (talk) 01:42, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Rewrite based on social media feedback

To address the concerns of Mr. Kern, I opened a long discussion of the article on LinkedIn, to which there have been 87 responses so far. Many challenges to the opening sections of the article arose, including some that described the rather contrived description of enterprise architecture that existed in the prior (reverted) article. To whit, neither of the sources referenced in the opening section used those words, or anything remotely similar to them, to describe the field of enterprise architecture.

I replaced the opening section with three alternative definitions of enterprise architecture, each independently developed, well reasoned, and neutral in tone and character. They each describe enterprise architecture differently, as a business practice, as the architecture of the business, and as the set of resulting artifacts. Each definition represents a common use of the term. I also "simplified" each in layman's terms so that a non-EA professional could get some understanding of the field by reading these definitions.

Normally, I would consider it unusual for a Wikipedia article to directly quote from a definition. This is, after all, not a dictionary. However, with the long and often protracted arguments in the community about the definition of EA, and how that definition must or should be based on this source or that practice, I saw no recourse but to specifically quote from canonical texts in order to avoid further heated discussion.

Please have patience with me. I will place the current definition back up in the forums and various social media and solicit further feedback. I am certain to get some, and the opening section is highly likely to change again as a result. I appreciate your patience.

Side note: when the 'refimprove' tag was placed on the EA article, there was a single reference to a non-notable source. There are now ample references to well-researched and notable sources. In addition, over the course of the past three years, the page has been edited for style many times. As a result, I removed the two tags at the top of the article. I will respect the viewpoint of other editors who wish to place new tags in their place as long as they make sense. Nickmalik (talk) 10:15, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Removed EARF definition and put in Gartner definition instead

Both the Gartner and EARF definitions of Enterprise Architecture describe EA from the standpoint of a business process, and not a set of artifacts or the intrinsic organizing logic of the company. In that way, they are redundant. However, Gartner is one of the leading IT Research firms in the world, while EARF is a defunct organization, formerly composed of a small group of academics and industry folks in South Africa. On the scale of notability, Gartner is clearly more notable than the EARF, whose ONLY published output appears to be the definition of EA. Nickmalik (talk) 16:31, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ Elizabeth N. Fong and Alan H. Goldfine (1989) Information Management Directions: The Integration Challenge. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 500-167, September 1989.
  2. ^ Office of Management and Budget, United States Government, Transmittal #4, CIRCULAR # A-130, revised
  3. ^ United States Congress, Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 (40 U.S.C. 1452)
  4. ^ OMB Circular A-130, United States Government