Enterprise Architecture Modelling Traceability

One of the fundamental strengths of enterprise architecture is the management of the EA across the global enterprise – both in the breadth of coverage – geographically and agreement of functional scope included in the transformation along with the hierarchical coverage – Strategic, operational and granular project level.

At the top level the level of detail and is broad and strategic.  Here the goals, drivers and direction setting of the business are formed.  When looking at how this affects the overall business transformation often the balanced scorecard can help to identify the high level goals, drivers and objectives that are relevant to the transformation.

The enterprise architects can then derive a high level set of principles to help guide the projects as they develop the solutions.

The goals, drivers, scope and principles can be stated in a projects request For Architecture Work giving the project visibility of Why this solution is being developed.  During the vision phase the project has the opportunity to validate the scope, objectives, constraints and principles.


Business goal linkage

The project also then identifies the relevant stakeholders, captures their concerns and using techniques such as business scenarios elicits the requirements ready for phases B, C and D to model the architecture domains in more detail.

Modelling the analysis using a metamodel helps various views to be created for discussion with the relevant stakeholders.  These visual diagrams supplement the textual requirements giving more context and clarity.

An added benefit of using a metamodel is the benefit of traceability and linkage between the various elements such as actors, locations, processes, application and data.  As more analysis is done the brain has difficulty assimilating lots of disparate sources of information.  Use of a metamodel can help.

Automatic traceability between the various elements occurs due to the underlying metamodel relationship linkage.  Reports, queries and matrices can quickly be generated to home in on certain areas and simulation analysis and options can be evaluated based on tagged attributes, if required to evaluate if non-functional requirements are met.  The analysis can be as sophisticated or as simple as required.  At the most simplistic goals, benefits and high level requirements can be linked to projects and the functionality.

 At a more granular detailed level simulation can identify bottlenecks in processes, analyse availability relating to SLA’s, response times and outages.   In order to get the most from the analysis work out what level of detailed analysis is required.  Simulation analysis can help identify conflicts between analysis trade-offs considered Performance, Availability, Complexity, Usability, and Security and the projects goals.  Having visibility of the conflicts these can then be discussed with the relevant stakeholders and agreement reached on acceptable thresholds where conflicts arise.