Enterprise Architecture: Why Business Architecture?

What is an enterprise? An enterprise is a collection of organizations that work towards a common set of goals. It is an interrelated system that is made up of people, customers, suppliers, technologies and its governing boards.

In order for an enterprise to be successful and achieve its mandate, what do you think would be the fundamental things that everyone involved in the business needs to clearly understand?

  • WHO we are?
  • WHY we exist?
  • WHAT we do?

I remember reading it from somewhere that — its crucial for everyone involved in the business to have a clear understanding of the following in order for an enterprise to be successful.

  • Motivation: WHY does the business work the way it does?
  • Function: HOW does the business carry out its work to deliver the value?
  • People: WHO does what?
  • Network: WHERE is the work conducted?
  • Data: WHAT things are needed – resources and information?
  • Time: WHEN does work need to happen?

Common sense, right? However, I’ve seen companies that have not clearly defined or communicated these to all who are involved. “Business Architecture” artifacts (i.e. Company’s vision, mission, strategy, Enterprise Context Model, Organization chart, Business process charts) can provide answers to these questions.

Please remember when creating artifacts:

  • Use simple language and diagrams to convey the message. Your goal should be to create things that can easily be understood by everyone at every level of the organization.
  • Simplify Simplify Simplify! Identify existing complexity – focus on creating things that will help simplifying complexity, keeping your company moving efficiently and creating a foundation to be able to quickly move and adopt to ever changing environment.

Let’s keep things simplebe logical, use common sense and foster collaboration to channel the organization’s energy to take the enterprise to the next level one step at a time! 🙂

Techie Princesa at Signiel Seoul. View of Seoul, Korea from Signiel, Seoul Hotel

View from 92nd floor at Signiel Seoul, October 2018


Enterprise Architecture: Business Event, Use Cases, Use Case Diagram

Business Scenario given
Sarah, Sammi, Doori are students at University of Toronto. They have received permission from the Administration to run a consultancy Tutorial Service for the students of Systems Analysis Design course. They called themselves the “A” Team. They offer a wide range of services including in-class group tutorials, 1-1 coaching as well as Project Assistance work.They help students to manage and complete their project given in class. In compensation for their work, they can ask for a flat fee of $ 2.00 for each half an hour of consultation and a flat fee of $5.00 for attending the group tutorial. The “A” Team accepts cash payment only. A receipt is printed when payment is made. Any student who has a disability can access the services for free. The School Administration coordinator has also assigned a faculty member to assist the “A” Team should they require subject matter expert advice.

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Enterprise Architecture: Enterprise Context Model (ECM) example

See my first posting for a brief explanation on what ECM is.

Here is an ECM of a fictional company called Techie Princesa Bakery Corporation.

Consider that this corporation has “Always Eat Healthy” Program and they are developing a new gluten-free menu. Perhaps Tim Hortons should come up with some gluten-free muffins and donuts. Sounds like a good idea to me, no? 😉

Enterprise Context Model (ECM)

Enterprise Architecture: Technology Architecture

What is Technology Architecture (TA)?

  • A domain of Enterprise Architecture
  • Concerned with the technology that supports the systems that are in use in the organization – both software and hardware technology
  • Describes the software and hardware capabilities that are required to support the deployment of business, data, and application services
  • Includes but not limited to IT infrastructure, networks, middleware, communications.

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Enterprise Architecture is…

“a coherent whole of principles, methods, and models that are used in the design and realization of an enterprise’s organizational structure, business processes, information systems, and infrastructure”. (The ArchiMate Foundation)

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Enterprise Architecture: Enterprise Context Model (ECM)

When trying to define a business, it is critical to understand the context of the business such as the following to ensure that those who are involved have a clear understanding of the business, their roles and responsibilities.

  • Mandate
  • Objectives
  • Key stakeholders (organizations and/or individuals) and the relationships
  • Accountability relationships with stakeholders

Enterprise Context Model (ECM) is a Business Architecture artifact that provides a single view of the key stakeholders involved in the business. It also establishes a framework to further breakdown and understand the business.

Here is my attempt to come up with an ECM for City of Edmonton’s Graffiti Management Program.


Refer to “Architecture for the Business – By the Business” presentation by I&IT (Office of the Corporate Chief Technology Office) if you are interested in learning more about Business Architecture and ECM.

Enterprise Architecture: Conceptual Data Model

Here is a Conceptual Data Model that I produced for an Enterprise Architecture Certification course I took at University of Toronto. My attempt was to create a Conceptual Data model: Entity Relationship Diagram for City of Edmonton’s Graffiti Management Program, based on the information I found on their program website.