CSG WInter 2014 Meeting – Enterprise Architecture & Review Boards

The second workshop of the meeting is on the topic of Enterprise Architecture & Review Boards is being coordinated by Jim Phelps, who is now at University of Washington.

EA and Governance

Perhaps the job of EA and Governance is to say “Wait, stop, listen” and then decide on action.

Shifting Focus of EA 

– Organizations were/are asking “What value is EA delivering to the business?” – Gartner finds 67% are starting, restarting, ore renewing their EA efforts. Shift away from technical architecture management to aligning business and IT vision and strategies delivering strategic business value and enabling a major business transformation.  That’s been the big shift in the last few years. Organizations are now building groups that have members from both business and technical organizations. This is hard – Techs want to write code, business wants to buy apps. Who is ready to have the conversation? Top down doesn’t work well in higher ed – have to find the right level to connect with. 

Jim shows an example of an ITANA matrix that plots business value and architectural value and Univeristy of Michigan’s IT Investment Board’s use of that matrix to compare projects.  

Shift to strong business value delivery and away from technical stack complexity.

Governance – Gothic G, Large G, little g. People get lost looking for the instantiated Gothic G that can make people do things. The big formal G that lots of us are trying to establish with IT Service Management and IT governance. Little g – getting groups of the right people together to steer strategies – oftentimes this gets overlooked. 

IT Governance, PPM, and Enterprise Architecture – Sherif Nijim, Notre Dame

The first ever CSG rap presentation!

IT Governance @ UMN – Patton Fast, CTO

Not ready to talk about architecture yet, but ready to talk about awareness and alignment, which has helped build an IT governance strategy for the UMN system. 

Wanted: clearer governance and priority setting, balancing supply and demand side of IT, moving from “us vs. them” dialog to a “we” dialog across all of IT, reduce layers of IT management in central IT (went from 70 to 20 supervisors in OIT). Service owners are managing day-to-day activity (in five major lines of business, each overseen by a director), not managing staff.  Moved to service based budgeting. 

During spring, while budgeting is being done, all the CIOs across the system talk to the business owners to get input. That demand gets synthesized and then shared across all the stakeholders. Then that gets presented by executive oversight and operational excellence committees. Then the priorities and budgets get set by “the Budget 5”.

Kitty Bridges – NYU

Had an external review six years ago, which resulted in a recommendation that the University view IT as a strategic asset, not a cost center. Had a strategic task force five years ago which resulted in a recommendation for better IT governance. Have an effort focused on alignment. Not advisory groups, but community groups in which IT participates. Groups are led by the senior business person in each area, not IT. Teaching & Learning, Research, Community Life, Administration, IT Infrastructure. Teaching & Learning has been the most active so far. One of the subgroups has generated 53 enhancements for Sakai – free market research! There’s a CIO Council of all the school CIOs. There’s also an IT Architecture Review Board chaired by the Snr. Vice-Provost for Research – doesn’t meet regularly but has been used to make some key decisions. All this is overseen by an IT Strategy Council.

The groups decide what needs to be done in regular business, but requests for new funding go to the Strategy Council for prioritization. 

IT Governance – Erk Lundberg, University of Washington

Two years ago had a costing study done looking at central IT in first round and then distributed IT in second round. Roughly evenly distributed between central IT, distributed IT, and medical IT. Consultant recommended comprehensive IT governance with clear definition of roles and responsibilities, treating IT as a shared scarce resource. IT Strategy board (advisory to President & Provost), IT Service Investment Board (where money and priorities clash), IT Service Management Board (central IT makes up a third of that group). 


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